WASHINGTON, D.C., December 22, 1998 ---
The International Finance Corporation will finance further development
of the Ninotsminda oil field in the Republic of Georgia through a $6 million
loan to Ninotsminda Oil Company (NOC).
The Ninotsminda field, which was first developed in the 1980's, currently
has a 2,000 barrel-per-day capacity and accounts for more than 50 percent
of Georgia's domestic oil output. Production is shared between NOC and
Georgian Oil, the state oil company of Georgia. IFC's loan will allow at
least five more wells to be drilled in order to increase production and
realize the field's full potential.
NOC is owned by CanArgo Energy Corporation of Calgary, Canada (with 68.5
percent) and JKX Oil and Gas PLC of London, UK (31.5 percent).
IFC supports foreign private investment in natural resources in Georgia,
according to Mr. Philippe Liétard, IFC's Director of Oil, Gas and Mining.
The project will help to redress Georgia's large energy deficit and improve
its external trade balance, as well as contributing to the government's
fiscal revenues. Development of the Ninotsminda field will be undertaken
by Georgian staff and management, and the project is expected to directly
employ more than 100 people.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.