OREANDA-NEWS. February 8, 2012. NIS a.d  and RAG Hungary Kft  (Hungarian subsidiary of Austrian Rohol-Aufsuchungs Aktiengesellschaft) started to drill a test well (“RAG Pirto-1) in south Hungarian “Kiskunhalas Block, honoring the Agreement for joint exploration signed last year. The anticipated drilling depth is nearly 3 000 meters.

Another two test wells are to be drilled this year, for which the two partners jointly allocated a €10 million budget for 2012. If the prospecting is successful in detecting commercial deposits of hydrocarbons, their extraction may start as early as 2013.

In Vienna on 19 December, NIS and RAG signed the Agreement for joint exploration for the exploration and appraisal of Kiskunhalas block in the south of Hungary. In the event of discovering commercial conventional resources, NIS gets 50 per cent share in the future production of this block, while RAG is to become the project operator.

NIS  is one of the largest, vertically integrated oil and gas companies in Southeast Europe, dealing with exploration, production and refining of crude oil and natural gas, as well as with the sales of a broad range of petroleum products.The main shareholders of the Company are Russian energy company Gazprom neft and the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The Company owns two oil refineries in Pancevo and Novi Sad, as well as an extensive network of filling stations. The company operates in many European countries. In particular, NIS performs exploration and production projects in Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Angola.

RAG  carries out E&P activities in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Poland. In Hungary, RAG’s operations are carried out by its 100% subsidiary RAG Hungary.

In addition to exploration and production, RAG is one of Europe’s largest operators of underground gas storage. The gas storages of RAG and its storage partners not only serve the Austrian market but provide users in the larger Central European region with storage capacity of 5 BCM targeting up to 6 BCM by 2014.