Levine’s President Petroleum Looks to Add Fields in Argentina

President Petroleum Co., the oil producer backed by former Imperial Energy Corp. Chairman Peter Levine, will use cash from new wells to finance field acquisitions in Argentina.

President acquired a 50 percent interest in the Puesto Guardian license in Salta province in northern Argentina in July. Production from five wells there and two more in the U.S. state of Louisiana will provide cash for the company to add acreage, said Levine, who owns 29.5 percent of President. The company may produce 2,500 barrels a day by the end of next year.

“We have morphed into a production company,” Levine said in a telephone interview. “We’re looking for acquisition opportunities to develop something with critical mass.”

President, based in London, wants fields that have already been discovered, where enhanced recovery techniques and renewed exploration can revive production, he said.

Levine agreed to sell Siberian oil producer Imperial Energy Corp. to India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. in 2008 for $2.6 billion. The sale netted Levine about 80 million pounds ($123 million) and his personal fortune stands about 110 million pounds, according to London’s Sunday Times newspaper.

President shares have dropped 65 percent this year, trading at 30.5 pence in London today. That values the company at 35 million pounds. London’s AIM Oil & Gas index of smallcap energy companies has declined 39 percent this year.

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