Russia-focused junior PetroNeft has agreed a minimum five-well drilling programme to start within weeks at its Licence 61 in Tomsk Oblast thanks to a recent $85 million farmout to Oil India on the block.
The AIM-listed company’s stock was trading up 4% after the drill plans were announced on Tuesday morning.
PetroNeft said the first probe, the Tungolskoye 5 delineation well, would see a drilling crew mobilised within the next week.
A second crew is to follow shortly afterward to spud the first of at least three development wells at Arbuzovskoye, where oil output has been declining due to lack of production drilling.
The plans have been agreed by a joint working group of the explorer and Oil India and will be funded from the $45 million commitment the latter explorer made under the Licence 61 farmout.
The Irish company said it had also repaid all due debt to Macquarie and Arawak from the $35 million farmout proceeds and was debt-free.
One of PetroNeft's largest shareholders, Natlata, sought unsucessfully to force management changes at the explorer in the wake of the draft farmout's announcement earlier this year.