Vancouver, BC, Canada - Range Metals Inc. (CNQ: RMIC) (FWB:YGK) Range Metals Inc (RMIC) is pleased to provide investors with news of a private placement in Range Metals Inc., and an update on operations of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Range Oil and Gas Inc., and its pursuit of oil and gas opportunities in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, the Middle East and Africa.
RANGE METALS ANNOUNCES $150,000 FLOW-THROUGH PRIVATE PLACEMENT
Vancouver, B.C. – Range Metals Inc. is pleased to announce that it has arranged a non-brokered private placement of 600,000 flow-through common shares at a per share price of $0.25, for gross proceeds of $150,000.
In connection with the private placement, Range Metals may pay finders’ fees pursuant to the policies of the CNQ.
Proceeds from the offering will be used by Range Metals, through its subsidiary Range Gold Corp., to fund further exploration expenditures on its properties in Ontario.
RANGE OIL & GAS INC. OPERATIONS UPDATE
From the Chief Executive Officer of Range Oil & Gas Inc., Mr. Norman Davidson Kelly – March 31, 2008
2007 was a particularly frustrating year for Range Oil & Gas (the “Company”).
During the year, the Company continued negotiations with the Kurdistan authorities in relation the conclusion of a Production Sharing Agreement over an area in South Eastern Kurdistan. The discussions encompassed a proven oil discovery, exploration blocks and the establishment of an oil refinery. At the date of writing, these discussions have not led to a successful conclusion. However, the main property which the Company has been pursuing has not been awarded, and the Company remains optimistic that its efforts will ultimately lead to a successful outcome.
The process of awarding concessions in Kurdistan was complicated by the inability of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad to pass the long awaited draft Oil and Gas Law. This would permit the award of Production Sharing Agreements throughout Iraq, under the joint management of the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad and other interested parties. In June 2007 the Kurdistan Government, frustrated at the slow progress from Baghdad, published its own Oil and Gas Law applicable to Kurdistan, which was approved by the Kurdistan Parliament in August 2007.
As part of the process, the Kurdistan Ministry of Natural Resources published the terms upon which Production Sharing Agreements would be awarded, including the requirement for signature bonuses. These are understood to be in the order of $25 million per block, and are in addition to significant work commitments. At the same time, all PSA’s previously awarded by the Kurdish authorities were re-negotiated to bring them into line with the new Kurdistan Oil Law, and the revised economic terms promulgated by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry awarded a number of Production Sharing Agreements in September and November 2007 to international oil companies.
These actions by the Kurdish authorities have led to a progressive breakdown in political relations between Baghdad and Kurdistan, which became more serious as the Kurdistan authorities awarded the Production Sharing Agreements, without consultation with Baghdad. These actions have led the Iraqi Oil Minister to denounce the Kurdistan Oil Law and the award of PSA’s as unconstitutional, and the Minister has threatened to revoke all contracts which were awarded in 2007 by the Kurdistan authorities. The Minister has also threatened to black list all companies operating in Kurdistan from any opportunity in the rest of Iraq.
Needless to say, the assertions and threats from Baghdad are vigorously disputed by the Kurdistan Government. However until the dispute between Kurdistan and the Central Government has been resolved, the Kurdistan Regional Government has suspended the award of further Production Sharing Agreements in Kurdistan. The Board of Range is unable to make any estimate in relation to the timeframe for resolution of the dispute.
To maximize its chances of a successful outcome to its negotiations the Company terminated its Partnership and Consultation agreement with Omega Oil and Gas International, its strategic partner in Kurdistan, and is in the process of attempting to form a consortium with a number of companies to pursue a specific field development opportunity in Kurdistan. If the consortium is formed, it is expected to establish alliances with local partners to provide the maximum stability to the venture.
In the rest of Iraq, which contains over 70% of Iraq’s oil and gas reserves, we understand that the main focus of the Ministry of Oil is to rebuild production capacity in its existing producing oil fields. The Ministry of Oil has stated that it will not award Production Sharing Agreements to international companies, but it is seeking to enter into a series of technical support agreements, in which the foreign companies carry out specific tasks for the Iraqis. The main requirement under these agreements will be to drill and recomplete an enormous number of wells. Estimates range from 2,000 wells upwards, and the Board of Range believes that an excellent business opportunity is represented by the lack of suitable drilling equipment in the country to satisfy the Ministry’s requirements.
Therefore the Company has been holding discussions with experienced drilling contractors, and has retained the services of experienced Iraqi executives with a view to forming and financing a drilling company to participate in rebuilding Iraq’s oil industry. In January 2008 it was announced that Research Capital had agreed that if the Company is successful in forming the company, it will provide up to $50 million to finance the Company’s share of the venture.
In the meantime, although the Company remains committed to doing business in Iraq, the Board has determined that it should pursue nearer term upstream opportunities. To this end, the Company is negotiating with a view to securing its participation in the financing of near term drilling activities in Oman and Syria.
Norman Davidson Kelly, CEO
About Range Metals Inc.
Range Metals Inc., publicly traded on the Canadian Trading and Quotation System (CNQ:RMIC) and Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB: YGK), is involved in the exploration and development of gold, minerals, and oil & gas properties through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Range Gold Corp. and Range Oil & Gas Inc.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“Don Sheldon, President, Range Metals Inc.
For further information contact Don Sheldon or:
Garth Edgar, CFO, Range Metals Inc.
Tel: 604-687-2038 Fax: 604-687-3141
THE CNQ AND FRANKFURT STOCK EXCHANGES HAVE NOT REVIEWED AND DO NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT OF THIS PRESS RELEASE.
This news release contains certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “projects”, “potential” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will”, “would”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur. Although Range believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Range’s management on the date the statements are made. Range undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management’s beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change, except as required by law.