EBRD supports independent oil and gas producer in Russia

By Richard Wallis

The EBRD is supporting Vostok Energy Limited (“Vostok”), an independent oil and gas company, in its drive to become a leading privately-owned developer of natural gas reserves in the Saratov region in southern Russia.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Diall Alliance llc., Vostok owns the license for exploration and development of the Bortovoye license area near Saratov, with proven and probable reserves of 19 billion cubic meters of gas and 2.2 million tons of condensate based on the current independent engineer’s reserve report.

The EBRD is providing Vostok a financing package worth $100 million to finance the company’s investment in the further development of the western part of the Bortovoye license field.

The project will fund the launch of a gas processing plant near the Karpenskoe field in the Bortovoye license area and the construction of the supporting infrastructure necessary to connect the plant to the Gazprom pipeline system. The plant will enable Vostok to fully eliminate gas flaring at western part of its gas fields.

In addition the EBRD funds will be used to complete 15 gas wells in the Karpenskoye field, including drilling of four new wells.

The Bank’s financing package includes an equity investment of up to $40 million, purchasing a 7 per cent stake of the company, and a $60 million convertible loan. The EBRD will also take a seat on the board of Vostok, which will allow the Bank to be involved in decision making process and corporate governance.

“By supporting a private player in the highly consolidated oil and gas industry in Russia, the EBRD is boosting competition in this sector, while promoting environmentally sound development of oil and gas resources,” said Kevin Bortz, EBRD Director for Natural Resources.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the EBRD in this project. Vostok has committed significant resources to developing our high potential Bortovoye license and the EBRD financing comes at an important time providing funds for the completion of our gas processing facility and ongoing development of the license” said Charles Jamieson, Chairman of Vostok.

To date the EBRD has invested over €2 billion in the Russian oil and gas and power sectors. The Bank’s total commitments to the Russian economy exceed €11.5 billion.