We have the pleasure of introducing ASCOM-GRUP S.A. from the Republic of Moldova, a rapidly growing company that is making its way, with more and more confidence, in the restless and fascinating world of oil business.
Since its creation in 1994, ASCOM aimed to focus its activity in the field of oil and gas industry, Republic of Moldova being a major consumer of energy resources imported from abroad.
ASCOM's activity in the oil business started in 1995 in Turkmenistan, when it was assigned by the Ministry of Oil and Gas from Turkmenistan as an Operator in two major oil and gas projects, the first for rehabilitation and exploration of about 200 wells on two of the largest oilfields of Turkmenistan and the second for overhaul and upgrade of the oilfield equipment.
Through significant investments, ASCOM succeeded to increase the crude oil production in Turkmenistan with about 7.5 million barrels and over 1.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
The excellent performance in Turkmenistan and the prestige gained in the first years of its activity, together with the growing technical and financial capabilities, encouraged the Company to consolidate its position and widen the scope of its activity both in the Caspian Sea and other regions of the world.
Thus, since mid-2000, ASCOM has been awarded three blocks for exploration and production in Kazakhstan, being nominated as an Operator. As a result of the rapid development of the exploration program, important crude, condensate and gas reserves were discovered.
In 2008, the Company reached a production of 60,000 boed, and the future program envisaged a production of 100.000 boed.
But, starting with 2008, despite exceptional results achieved after 8 years of activity, the period during which ASCOM made enormous investments, Kazakh authorities started to put pressure on ASCOM's affiliated companies, this campaign culminating in nationalization of all our assets in 2010. Following such attack, ASCOM had to refer to the contractual provisions and to address to the International Arbitration, which is to pronounce its decision in 2014.
Since 2005 ASCOM's activity has also extended to Africa on a block located in the South Sudan with a surface of about 20.000 km².
Due to large surface and geological and structural complexity of the area, the exploration work continues and nowadays, the information obtained so far being the object of processing and interpretation by the specialists.
In 2008, ASCOM started petroleum operations in the Middle East, signing with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the autonomous region Kurdistan, Iraq, a production sharing contract (PSC) for the exploration of the Bardarash block. In 2009, following seismic operations and the first drilling activity, an important oil field was discovered.
Given the large investment requirements and following the "blow" received in Kazakhstan (nationalization in 2010), we had to sell 80% of our participating interest in Bardarash, the other 20% belonging to the Kurdistan Government.
At the moment, we are also in advanced negotiations to pursue new blocks in other countries of the world and set up new partnerships with companies from countries rich in oil reserves.
We live in a world that continues to be strongly dependent on oil and gas resources. This requires from ASCOM more investments, more exploration work and more discoveries and hydrocarbon reserves.
Thank you for your confidence in ASCOM.