Interview with Jim Bown, President of Vanco Prykerchenska Ltd
Jim Bown, President of Vanco Prykerchenska Ltd talks today about resolution of the long-standing dispute between VPL and the State of
Is the current Ukrainian government more open for a dialog in your opinion?
Yes. Clearly. It was the current government that proposed an amicable agreement after they came to power in early 2010. The previous Tymoshenko government was absolutely not open for dialogue which is why eventually in July 2008 VPL had to resort to international arbitration in
Will you be looking for a farm in partner as you have a very large license area to develop?
I am not aware of any plans for VPL to look for a farm in partner
Will Vanco be looking at raising capital for development program? Might you consider listing?
These options have not been considered so far. Such decisions will be taken once the results of the exploration work are known and VPL has made at least one commercial oil or gas discovery. VPL's main concern now is to get the settlement with the government completed and to start the exploration program.
How soon do you plan to start operations on the license? What is the time scale for the first well to be drilled?
VPL will start operations immediately following the approval by the government of the first work program and budget. If the settlement is completed around the middle of this year operations could/should be started sometime during the second half of this year. The first two wells are scheduled to be drilled towards the end of the third year of the First Exploration Period. So the wells may be drilled in the second half of 2015 assuming that the exploration program begins in 2012.
In your opinion, what can and should be done to encourage the growth of economic activity in the fuel and energy sector in Ukraine?
This is too big a question for me to answer here. However there needs to be 'political will' at the government level (and we are now beginning to see signs of this after many years), and the government needs to create and maintain conditions that will make Ukraine attractive to foreign and domestic investors (they are starting to do this inter alia with the useful amendments to the PSA Law, the new Tax Code and possibly with the relatively new law on Public-Private Partnerships. These are all steps in the right direction - but of course more needs to be done)
Do you consider expanding your operations via acquiring new licenses or would you develop what you currently have?
VPL has no plans to acquire new licenses. We will have plenty to do in the Prykerchenska Area once we restart the Project.