The acquired Bortovoy licence contains a number of producing fields and is said to have significant prospectivity. It currently has 750bn cubic feet of proved and probable gas reserves, as well as 3.9mln barrels of condensate.
Zoltav paid US$180mln, mostly in shares, to a vehicle of Russian coal magnate Valentin Bukhtoyarov called Bandbear Limited.
As a result of the transaction Bandbear is Zoltav’s joint largest shareholder, with a 39.8% interest in the company equalling the stake of Ambramovich’s ARA Capital.
ARA also subscribed for new shares in a US$65.9mln placing as part of the transactions.
Arkadiy Abramovich is the 20 year son of Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich. Zoltav previously acquired a group of appraisal and exploration assets in Siberia.
Symon Drake-Brockman, Zoltav’s executive chairman, said: “With this milestone achieved, we are focused on operations and in particular on ensuring that the gas processing plant in the Western area of the Bortovoy Licence is operating at full capacity while concurrently developing an exploration strategy for the highly prospective Eastern Fields of the Bortovoy Licence; as well as on our continuing appraisal of the Koltogor licences.
"In addition, we are constantly reviewing potential acquisition targets and will continue our acquisition strategy where we believe value can be achieved for shareholders."