Thursday, July 1, 2010

Petrom to Sell Licenses in 20 Romanian Oil Fields

By Irina Savu and Zoe Schneeweiss

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- OMV Petrom SA, Romania’s largest oil and gas company, plans to sell exploration licenses in about 20 mature oil fields in Romania.

Petrom will auction off the licenses, Zanfirescu said. Companies wishing to participate in the auction must be registered with the Agency for Mineral Resources and can’t have debts to the Romanian government.

At the end of 2009, Petrom had exploration licenses for 256 oil and gas fields on 15 onshore perimeters and 2 offshore perimeters in Romania. Production from the fields in 2009 fell 4 percent to 180,815 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 188,476 barrels the previous year.

“It definitely makes sense for Petrom to concentrate on the high-yield licenses while selling those of which little returns can be expected,” said Philipp Chladek, an analyst at Raiffeisen Centrobank AG in Vienna, who rates Petrom at “hold.”

OMV AG at its Capital Markets Day said that it took its experts five years of majority ownership in Petrom to come up with a “funded estimate of how much oil there really is still left in Romania,” Chladek said. “This explains why OMV recently revised its production targets downward, and the sale of the least-rewarding fields can also be seen in this respect.”

OMV, central Europe’s biggest oil company, holds a 51 percent stake in Petrom.

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