Shares of Imperial Energy Corp., a British oil and natural-gas producer in Russia and Kazakhstan, rose after the company said it started building pipelines to help increase output and expected to raise its reserves figures.
Imperial will more than double production to 6,000 barrels of oil a day from 2,500 barrels, once the pipelines are completed by the end of the Russian summer, the London-based company said today in a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service.
Imperial is waiting for the results of a survey and expects there to be ``material reserves upgrades'' from the current reserves of 321 million barrels.
``We have got more reserves than you can shake a stick at,'' said Peter Levine, the company's chairman, in a telephone interview today. ``All that is nothing if you can't get it to market -- we are on our way now,'' he said, referring to the construction of the pipelines.
Shares in the company rose 30 pence, or 3.9 percent, to 794 pence, after a gain of 5.6 percent yesterday.
Imperial Energy plans to move from London's Alternative Investment Market to the main market in April, to attract a wider range of investors, Levine said. The company may join the FTSE- 250 index and doesn't intend to issue new shares, said Levine.
One of the pipes under construction will connect Imperial's Snezhnaya fields to the OAO Transneft pipeline at Zavyalovo. The other will connect its Maiskaya field to the network at Luginetskoye. Both are in the Tomsk region of Russia's western Siberia. Imperial now operates five wells.
The company set incremental production targets to reach 10,000 barrels a day by the end of this year and 35,000 barrels a day in 2009. ``This is a realistic figure based on conservative estimates,'' said Levine.
Imperial is planning to investigate the potential of a prospect in autumn 2007 near Lake Kumsherun in Kazakhstan. It is planning to drill 30 appraisal wells and 10 exploration wells this year.
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