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25

Sibir shifts focus from North Sea to Russia

UK ENERGY independent Sibir is selling off its stake in the North Sea to concentrate on developing its now profitable business activities in Russia. The announcement came as the company posted record half-year results which showed Sibir?s turnover almost doubled against the same period last year.

UK ENERGY independent Sibir is selling off its stake in the North Sea to concentrate on developing its now profitable business activities in Russia.
The announcement came as the company posted record half-year results which showed Sibir?s turnover almost doubled against the same period last year.
Turnover for the six months to 30 June jumped 91 per cent to ё29.1 million, versus ё15.2 million for first half of 2000, while pre-tax profits were up 61 per cent to ё9.3 million compared with ё7.4 million before. Post-tax profits reached ё5.2 million from ё4.1 million.
The company?s chief executive, Aberdeen lawyer Henry Cameron, said the time is right to step up the Russian commitment, even though three other members of Sibir?s peer group appear to be pulling out.
The British disposals are being made to generate cash to help power the firm?s growth plans in what is now its core market. The North Sea assets are held via Scottish subsidiary Pentex.
Cameron said: "We have decided to sell our Pentex assets and eliminate all of our borrowings from the proceeds of such sale.
"Preparations for the sale are well advanced and we expect to be able to make a further announcement in relation to this matter shortly.
"We shall however keep our decision to sell under review in view of the drop in the oil price over the last few days."
Earnings per share dropped to 0.36p because of the large number of shares issued last year in respect of assets not currently generating income.
Spelling out the company?s core strategy, Cameron said: "We remain committed to our aim of being the western vehicle of choice for investment in the Russian oil and gas industry.
"The key to success in Russia is to have substantial reserves, influential Russian-controlled shareholders who play a key role in the development of the company, and an achievable and transparent expansion plan."
But Cameron added that recent events also emphasised how important Russia was to Europe for energy security.
"The instability of the Middle East and the uncertainty created by the tragic events in the United States both underline Europe?s growing reliance upon Russia as a supplier of oil and gas."
Neftegaz.ru