Howard Cooper, chairman of Steamboat Springs-based Teton Petroleum, made some noise in the New York Financial District on May 6 as he rang the opening bell on the American Stock Exchange. The ceremony marked Teton's first day of trading on the AMEX.
Teton is an independent oil and gas exploration company operating in Russian oil fields. The company's stock previously traded on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board.
Cooper, who works out of an office on Burgess Creek Road, said the move to the AMEX will help his company -- as well as shareholder value -- grow.
"Listing on the AMEX will provide increased trading liquidity and greater visibility for Teton as the only pure play Russian investment in the U.S.," Cooper said.
The credibility that comes with listing on the AMEX will help the company gain greater stature with institutional investors, he predicted.
Teton has been exporting oil out of Russia since 1998. It is developing three oil fields in Western Siberia, 10 miles north of Samotlor, the seventh largest oil field in the world. Cooper's company exploits an advantage in that the oil fields it is developing occupy a smaller niche beneath giant Russian oil companies, and yet Teton enjoys the security of working in oil fields that already have been proven.
Cooper said he looks forward to pursuing continued growth in 2003.
Some of that growth will occur as Teton realizes the benefits of receiving permission from its Russian partner to increase its export quota from 45 percent to 90 percent.
Teton's Chief Operating Officer Igor Effimov said the company receives a significantly higher price per barrel for oil it is permitted to export.
Teton reports that daily production rose last year from 625 barrels per day to 1,750 (net to Teton). At the same time, the company was able to shrink operating costs per barrel from $4.37 to $2.35.
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