Zoltav secures Siberian oil field after a little help by Abramovich junior

Zoltav Resources, the AIM-listed shell company part-owned by Roman Abramovich's eldest son, is to get its hands on the undeveloped Koltogor field in western Siberia.

Zoltav Resources, the AIM-listed shell company part-owned by Roman Abramovich's eldest son, is to get its hands on the undeveloped Koltogor field in western Siberia.

This is thought to be Arkadiy Abramovich's first big oil deal as he makes his mark in the Russian energy sector.

The firm announced on Wednesday morning that it is to buy CenGeo Holdings, owner of the Koltogor oil discovery, for $26m through the issue of new Zoltav shares.

CenGeo, a private company owned by Russian coal tycoon Valentin Bukhtoyarov, was recently issued a 25-year exploration and production licence which contained the field in the Khantiy-Mansisk region, "one of Russia's most prolific oil-producing regions", Zoltav said.

Zoltav also signed an agreement with Arkadiy's investment vehicle, ARA Capital, giving it the right to call for an extra $20m to fund the project's development. Through ARA, Arkadiy owns a 45% interest in Zoltav.

"This is an excellent first acquisition for Zoltav and will allow the company to build an operational management team for future acquisitions in the sector. We believe the acquisition represents extremely good value for shareholders and delivers a sizeable appraisal asset with near-term production potential," said Chairman Symon Drake-Brockman.

"I am delighted that the transaction has received the support of our largest shareholder, ARA Capital, which enables us to move forward with confidence that Zoltav has access to the capital required to undertake the next phase of analysis and appraisal at Koltogor."

As the acquisition is seen as a reverse takeover, shares in Zoltav have been suspended from trading on AIM.

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