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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Imperial Accused of Declaring False Information on Reserves

London-listed oil producer Imperial Energy declared false information on its reserves, Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said Friday, the only firm found to do so following broad industry checks.

"We tried to find out whether there is a difference between the state commission's information on the firms' reserves and estimates by the auditors," Trutnev said.

"It was discovered that Imperial Energy was the only firm that provided us with false information," he said.

Imperial Energy, a Russia-focused firm, said it had not been informed about the allegations and denied any wrongdoing.

Trutnev did not say whether the discovery could end up leading to the revocation of the firm's license, but said he would inform both the company and the auditor, DeGolyer & MacNaughton.

He said his ministry would submit its recommendations on the issue in a few days to supervisory organizations, including the Federal Subsoil Resource Use Agency, which is in charge of withdrawing licenses.

Imperial chairman Peter Levine said, "Imperial, which is a British transparent and open public company, completely rejects any allegations of false certification of reserves if those allegations have indeed been made."

"The reserves of Imperial were estimated by the internationally reputable D&M, based on true and correct information given to them by Imperial," he said.

Imperial Energy has said its proved and probable reserves have increased by 150 percent since 2005, and now stand at 803 million barrels of oil across its 15 fields in the Siberian region of Tomsk.

It is targeting production of 10,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of the year, 25,000 bpd by the end of 2008 and 35,000 bpd by the end of 2009.