Lithuanian firm wins oil exploration license in Denmark

  • 2001-03-22
  • BNS
VILNIUS - Minijos Nafta, the largest oil extraction company in the Baltic states, has become the first Lithuanian company to be granted a license for exploration and production of oil in a foreign country.

Last week, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy officially informed Minijos Nafta, a Lithuanian-Danish joint venture, that the company had won a license for oil exploration and production covering an area of 3,750 square kilometers in the southern part of Jutland, according to a statement issued March 13.

The area is four times larger than Minijos Nafta's current Gargzdai license area, which covers 840 square kilometers in western Lithuania.

"This is a very important recognition of the Lithuanian company's operations and its high professional standards both by the Danish government and partners, so Lithuania has grounds to be proud of its specialists," said Ignas Vaiceliunas, deputy managing director of Minijos Nafta.

Another three companies have been granted the right to work in the license area along with Minijos Nafta, including Sterling Resources, a company registered in England, and the Danish firms DVO and DONG.

According to the statement, Minijos Nafta has been granted operational rights in the area, and the Lithuanian company sees this as its major achievement. Minijos Nafta's functions will include working out oil exploration and production programs in the license area, and it will be responsible for tactics, certain technical decisions and work organization.

Minijos Nafta's managers did not rule out applying for licenses in other countries. Lithuania has not held any tenders for new license areas for four years, so local companies have no choice but to seek licenses abroad.

Set up in 1995, Minijos Nafta now extracts some 70 percent of the total volume of oil extracted in this country. The Lithuanian-Danish joint venture posted a net profit of around 50 million litas ($12.5 million) on turnover of 133 million litas for the year 2000.