Kurdistan News


Price of Iranian Goods Falls 30% in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

A sharp fall in the value of the Iranian rial has reportedly reduced the price of Iranian goods in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by 30 percent, boosting demand.

According to Rudaw, trade between the Kurdistan Region and Iran amounted to $6 billion in 2016, falling to around $5.05 billion in 2017.

Tehran closed three border crossings with the Kurdistan Region at the request of Baghdad after September’s independence referendum, reopening them in early January.

More here from Rudaw.

(Source: Rudaw)

(Picture Credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

KRG Opens New Section of Erbil Ring Road

By John Lee.

A new section of Erbil’s largest road was reportedly opened on Monday.

The five-kilometer stretch of the “120 Meter Road” will alleviate heavy traffic on the Erbil-Pirmam and Erbil-Koya roads, according to a report from Rudaw.

The Hemn Group has pledged to finish the next phase of the project near the Kirkuk road and another segment serving the Kirkuk-Mosul road by the end of the year, witht the entire road expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

More here from Rudaw.

(Source: Rudaw)

KRG pays Genel under Receivable Settlement Agreement

Genel Energy plc has announced that it has received an override payment of $7.05 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The payment represents 4.5% of Tawke gross field revenues for the month of November 2017, as per the terms of the Receivable Settlement Agreement. 

Taken together with the monthly entitlement payments for Taq Taq and Tawke announced yesterday, Genel’s net share of payments relating to November 2017 exports totals $26.81 million.

(Source: Genel Energy)

New Career Opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

Genel Updates on Oil Reserves

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced the completion of competent person’s reports (‘CPRs’) relating to the oil reserves and resources at Taq Taq, Bina Bawi, and Miran.

McDaniel and Associates have updated the CPR relating to the Taq Taq field (Genel 44% working interest, joint operator).

RPS Energy Consultants Ltd. (‘RPS’), as part of its work on the updated CPRs for the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields (Genel 100% and operator), has finalised its evaluation of the oil resources at both fields.

Murat Özgül (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

“The 40% replacement of 1P reserves at Taq Taq follows the success of well TT-29w, and reflects the stability in cash-generative production that we have seen from the field in the second half of 2017. The significant increase in high-value Bina Bawi 2C oil resources offers a tangible opportunity for near-term value creation.”

Taq Taq oil reserves

Taq Taq gross 2P reserves as of 31 December 2017 are estimated by McDaniel at 54.7 MMbbls, compared to 59.1 MMbbls as of 28 February 2017, with the difference being production in the intervening period, partly offset by a small upward technical revision.

The CPR results in a 12% reserves replacement for 2P and 40% reserves replacement at the higher confidence 1P level as a result of stabilising production and the integration of well TT-29w. A reconciliation from the reserves reported in the CPR released in February 2017 to the updated estimates in the CPR published today, is shown in the following table:

Gross oil reserves (MMbbls – McDaniel)

1P

2P

3P

28 February 2017

25.8

59.1

95.0

Production

(5.0)

(5.0)

(5.0)

Technical revisions

2.0

0.6

0.1

31 December 2017

22.8

54.7

90.1

Bina Bawi and Miran oil resources

Bina Bawi gross 2C light (c.45◦ API) oil resources as of 31 December 2017 are estimated by RPS at 37.1 MMbbls, compared to 13 MMbbls as of July 2013. The increase reflects higher recovery factors than initially estimated due to integrating learnings from analogue carbonate fields of similar oil quality. As the high-quality Bina Bawi oil is in close proximity to export infrastructure, the field represents a potentially attractive near-term development candidate for the Company.

Miran West gross 2C heavy (c.15◦ API) oil resources as of 31 December 2017 are estimated by RPS at 23.7 MMbbls, compared to 52 MMbbls as of April 2013. Volumes have reduced as RPS has adjusted its view on the oil water contact uncertainty range and also adjusted its view on reservoir properties, including data from MW-5 drilled in July 2013.

Because of field experience at Taq Taq, Genel management has taken the view that it is unlikely that any matrix will contribute to primary depletion at Miran and, as such, has taken a more conservative view and will only record 18.5 MMbbls of viable 2C contingent resources at the field.

Gross 2C Contingent Resources oil (MMbbls – RPS)

2013

31 December 2017

Bina Bawi

12.9

37.1

Miran West

52.0

23.7

Appendix

Summary of Contingent Resources – Development unclarified (Gross 100% working interest basis) attributable to the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields as of 31 December 2017.

Gross (100% WI) Contingent Resources

Gross (100% WI) Contingent Resources

Bina Bawi

Oil (MMbbls – RPS)

Miran West

Oil (MMbbls – RPS)

1C

15.2

1C

6.1

2C

37.1

2C

23.7

3C

78.4

3C

67.6

(Source: Genel Energy)

“Severe Punishment” for Price Hikes Targeting Tourists

By John Lee.

Erbil’s mayor has reportedly warned hotel and motel operators against taking advantage of the increased numbers of tourists by driving up prices and breaking contracts:

Nabaz Abdulhamid told Rudaw:

“Any hotel or motel owner that hikes up the prices and revokes the signed contracts will be punished severely.”

In the past three days, 15,000 tourists from southern and central Iraq have travelled to Erbil.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Abadi Reluctant to Lift Embargo on Kurdish Airports

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation in the Kurdistan Region reiterated that the Ministry has not received any formal approval from Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi to lift the ban on international flights from the airports in the region.

Asked whether Baghdad was trying to delay resolving the issue with Erbil, Omed Mohammed said that he has no knowledge why the Federal government has not lifted the ban on the airports after the region had shown commitment to all of the conditions introduced by Iraq.

According to the Kurdish official, the Kurdish Regional Government has already accepted all of the conditions made by the Federal government, but there was no sign from Baghdad’s side to end the punitive measures imposed on the region.

(Source: GardaWorld)

Iraq signs Deal for Kirkuk Refinery

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has announced that it has signed an agreement to build a 70,000-bpd oil refinery near Kirkuk.

The statement said the refinery would be built by “Rania international company“, which Reuters refers to as Ranya International, which it says is based in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The plant will produce high octane gasoline and other petroleum products.

(Source: Ministry of Oil, Reuters)

DNO: Revenues and Investment Rise Sharply

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced a 50 percent hike in 2018 spending in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to USD 250 million net to the Company on the back of higher revenues and regular export payments.

Annual 2017 revenues stood at USD 347 million, up 72 percent from 2016, bolstered by fourth quarter revenues of USD 116 million, the highest quarterly level in more than three years.

The Company fast tracked the development of the Peshkabir field with two wells currently producing a total of 16,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and commingled for export with another 97,000 bopd from the other DNO-operated field, Tawke, on the same license.

DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani:

“We made the Peshkabir Cretaceous discovery early in 2017, initiated early production in June, tripled output by year’s end and already have exported two million barrels with an estimated value of USD 100 million – more than twice the investment to date. And we have only started to appraise and develop this field which continues to surprise to the upside.”

A total of six Peshkabir wells will be drilled this year with field production expected to reach 30,000 bopd by summer and continue to ramp up in the second half of the year.

At the Tawke field, plans are being finalized with partner Genel Energy plc to drill four wells in 2018, in addition to the currently drilling Tawke-48 well slated for completion by end-February.

Elsewhere in Kurdistan, DNO has re-entered and sidetracked the Hawler-1 well to appraise the Benenan heavy oil field in the Erbil license, achieving a technical milestone with the first ever multilateral well and the first ever dual completion in Kurdistan. Testing will commence shortly, and if successful, will be followed by additional wells.

The Company received 12 monthly Kurdistan export payments during 2017 totaling USD 380 million net to DNO. The landmark August 2017 receivables settlement agreement, which increased DNO’s stake in the Tawke and Peshkabir fields from 55 percent to 75 percent plus three percent of gross license revenues over five years, contributed to higher export payments.

Operational cash flow more than tripled to USD 339 million in 2017 and DNO exited the year with a net cash position of USD 30 million versus net debt of USD 139 million at end-2016.

(Source: DNO)

IFJ warns about Media Freedom Violations in Kurdistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has denounced the multiple media freedom violations in the Iraqi Kurdistan region documented in a new report by IFJ affiliate the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate.

The 2017 annual report of media freedom violations, published by the KJS’ Committee for the Defense of Press Freedom & Rights of Journalists, reveals that as the intensity of the rivalry between political parties increases, incidence of violations against journalists and media organisations also increase as they face revenge by the belligerents.

Several media have been blocked during and after the referendum in the Kurdistan region to secede from Iraq and especially during the follow up military campaign by the Iraqi central government to regain control over Karkuk and other areas controlled by Kurdish forces.

Turkey and Iran also closed down offices of media organizations seen as promoting the vote for independence while the Kurdistan regional government closed down (a) TV channel(s) which took an anti-independence editorial line.

Four journalists were killed in the region in 2017, 30 journalists were arrested, 5 were wounded, 39 suffered from physical attacks, 111 were restrained and 18 were threatened. In addition, 3 media houses were burned down and 13 channels were shut down.

“The IFJ condemns all the attacks documented by our affiliate against our colleagues in the region and urges the various parties to stop using the media in their political fights,” said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger. “Both the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi central government must take immediate steps to show that they are serious about fighting impunity in the attacks against journalists in Iraq.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

(Source: IFJ)