Range Resources predicts production growth

Range Resources said it is well positioned to grow production as it plans to merge with International Petroleum to build an AIM- and ASX-listed oil and gas company.

Range Resources said it is well positioned to grow production as it plans to merge with International Petroleum to build an AIM- and ASX-listed oil and gas company.

The acquisition of International Petroleum is expected to bolster Range's current production by 300% to 76m barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of 2P reserves (proven and probable) and by 750% to 233m barrels of 3P reserves (proven, probable and possible).

International Petroleum's oil and gas projects in Kazakhstan and Russia will combine with Range's Georgian exploration properties.

Chief Executive Officer of International Petroleum, Chris Hopkinson, said he expects the merger to be completed in September.

He will take the helm of the newly merged company, which will focus exploration

in Trinidad, Russia and Africa.

In Trinidad, the QUN 141 well is being completed with logs indicating 160 feet of gross oil pay. Drilling is also currently underway on the QUN 142 well which is expected to encounter the same well-developed oil pay.

Hopkinson said the company was able to keep a tight rein on costs as it owns its own operating and drilling subsidiary in Trinidad.

In Russia, the firm is waiting for the "big freeze" to access towns that are surrounded by swamps in the summer.

The group plans to put an additional 10 wells into production, which are projected to increase output by 4,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Another 20 well targets have also been mapped.

Cashflows from Trinidad and Russia will then be used to fund exploration opportunities in Africa.

"We have an advantage over other mining companies in Africa because we have the cash flow and resources to back exploration. It gives us a huge leverage," Hopkinson told Digital Look and Sharecast.

International Petroleum recently acquired exploration assets in Niger, Africa which covers 7,000 square kilometres of highly prospective and underexplored land in the Western Central African Rift System.

Range has received commitments for an AU$20m placement from major funds and institutions which will provide a secured loan for the assets which will complement the company's current portfolio.

Hopkinson added the merged company expects to make £150m a year profit by 2016.

He also said it would consider exiting the ASX to become solely AIM-listed once its market capitalisation reaches around £250m. Range currently has a market cap of £82.76m on AIM.

Shares in Range fell 2.5% to 2.93p at 15:18 Wednesday.

RD

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