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Gazprom Neft’s NIS to Spend $588 Million on Exploration in 2012

Naftna Industrija Srbije AD, the Serbian oil company controlled by Russia’s OAO Gazprom Neft, will expand investments in Balkan exploration by 45 percent this year as it seeks to expand business.

With active and potential fields in Serbia and exploration targets in Romania, Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Belgrade-based company plans to spend some 50 billion dinars ($588 million) looking for hydrocarbons in those countries in 2012, it said in an e-mailed statement today.

In Serbia alone, it will spend around 450 million euros ($587 million) through 2020, it added.

NIS has already invested 785 million dinars in new machinery for geological and seismic data, which will help it provide “greater competitiveness and expansion of business arrangements in the European Union.”

In Romania, NIS cooperates with Canada’s East West Petroleum Corp. on at least two exploration wells. With a subsidiary of Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd, a Denver, Colorado-based company, NIS seeks a partnership in Hungary for a gas field where Falcon holds the license.

In Hungary, it also works with a unit of Austria’s Rohoel Aufsuchungs AG, on a location near Kiskunhalas, while in Bosnia-Herzegovina it is looking for oil and gas with Neftegazinkor, a subsidiary of Russia’s Zarubezhneft.

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