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Max Petroleum: To infinity and beyond?

Only incorporated in 2005, Almaty-based Max Petroleum shows that smaller, independent energy companies can still make their mark against the more powerful Russian and global firms.

Guy Norton reports from Almaty on the story behind Max Petroleum, a small, independent oil company in Kazakhstan gearing up to go head to head with the global oil majors.

Max Petroleum was only incorporated in April 2005 but it is fast proving that small, independent oil and gas companies have a bright future in Kazakhstan – and can more than hold their own against the global majors that have hitherto been the dominant market players in the resource-rich central Asian state.

Within a matter of months the company has already acquired rights and licences to explore and develop four highly promising oil blocks in the country, completed an initial public offering – achieving listings on the London and Frankfurt bourses in the process – placed a further block of shares through an institutional offering over the deadzone Christmas holiday period, and most recently completed a highly successful convertible bond offering. And all this before a single drop of oil has been extracted and sold.

As Philip Morgan, an analyst at WH Ireland Stockbrokers, noted in a research report entitled The birth of a giant?, published just after Max Petroleum’s IPO: “Inside a decade, all being well, this company could even become a major.

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