Kurdistan News


KRG “suspends Oil Exports to Iran”

By John Lee.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has reportedly suspended oil exports to Iran.

According to Anadolu Agency, the KRG’s Ministry of Finance and Economy did not specify a reason for the move, and “it remains unclear whether the suspension is linked to U.S. sanctions on Iran.

(Source: Anadolu Agency)

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Taq Taq Oil Reserves Update

Genel Energy has announced that McDaniel and Associates (‘McDaniel’) has completed the competent person’s report (‘CPR’) relating to the oil reserves at Taq Taq as at 31 December 2018.

Field performance in 2018, and notably the success of the TT-29w well drilled on the northern flank of the field, has led to an upwards technical revision of reserves, resulting in a 62% reserves replacement at the 1P level.

This revision does not take into account the recent positive results from the TT-32 well, which completed in 2019 and is currently adding over 3,000 bopd to field production.

Drilling in 2019 is targeting opportunities on the flanks of the field, with the TT-20z well nearing completion and three others then to follow. Should the wells match the performance of TT-29w and TT-32, Taq Taq could deliver a significant year-on-year production increase, with room for further growth in 2020.

The Company expects to announce CPR reports for other assets in the portfolio prior to the announcement of full-year results on 20 March 2019.

(Source: Genel Energy)

DNO Increases Oil Reserves, Shares Rise

Shares in DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, were trading up five percent on Monday afternoon following the company’s announcemnt that it has replaced 2018 production through additions to reserves, marking the second consecutive year in which the Company’s replacement of proven reserves reached or exceeded 100 percent of production.

“DNO’s stellar record of reserves replacement through the drill bit is a result of stepped up spending on our portfolio of quality assets coupled with rapid-fire execution,” said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO’s Executive Chairman. “And the barrels we continue to add are among the lowest cost in the industry, anywhere,” he expounded.

Yearend 2018 Company Working Interest (CWI) proven (1P) reserves stood at 240 million barrels of oil (MMbbls), unchanged from yearend 2017 after adjusting for production and technical revisions. On a CWI proven and probable (2P) reserves basis, DNO replaced 98 percent of its 2018 production, exiting the year with CWI 2P reserves of 376 MMbbls (384 MMbbls in 2017).

At 2018 production rates, DNO’s 1P reserves life is 8.2 years and its 2P reserves life is 12.9 years.

Significantly, the Company’s 1P reserves replacement ratio (RRR) has reached or exceeded 100 percent in eight of the past ten years.

On a gross basis, at the Tawke license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq containing the Tawke and Peshkabir fields, yearend 2018 1P reserves stood at 348 MMbbls, unchanged from 2017 after adjusting for production of 41 MMbbls and upward technical revisions of 41 MMbbls. Tawke license 2P reserves stood at 502 MMbbls (513 MMbbls in 2017) and proven, probable and possible (3P) reserves at 697 MMbbls (880 MMbbls in 2017).

Broken down by field, Tawke field gross 1P reserves stood at 294 MMbbls (335 MMbbls in 2017), 2P reserves at 376 MMbbls (438 MMbbls in 2017) and 3P reserves at 477 MMbbls (588 MMbbls in 2017). Peshkabir field gross 1P reserves stood 54 MMbbls (13 MMbbls in 2017), 2P reserves at 126 MMbbls (75 MMbbls in 2017) and 3P reserves at 220 MMbbls (292 MMbbls in 2017).

International petroleum consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton carried out the annual independent assessment of the Tawke license. The Company internally assessed the remaining licenses in its portfolio.

The 2018 Annual Statement of Reserves and Resources, prepared and published in accordance with Oslo Stock Exchange listing and disclosure requirements (Circular No. 1/2013), is attached and is also available on the Company’s website at www.dno.no.

(Sources: DNO, Yahoo!)

DNO Reports Record Revenues

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced 2018 net profit of USD 354 million on revenues of USD 829 million, the highest annual revenues in the Company’s 47-year history. Cash flow from operations increased 40 percent to USD 472 million in 2018, of which USD 334 million represented free cash flow.

Operated production averaged 117,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) including 81,700 boepd on a Company Working Interest (CWI) basis, up from 113,500 boepd and 73,700 boepd, respectively, during 2017. January 2019 operated production averaged 128,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) or 90,000 bopd on a CWI basis.

The Company stepped up its operational spend in 2018 to nearly USD 300 million to support the fast-track development of the Peshkabir field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the ongoing drilling program at the Tawke field within the same license.

Spending levels in 2019 are projected to rise more than 40 percent from 2018 levels to an estimated USD 420 million. DNO’s 2019 drilling program includes up to 20 exploration and production wells in Kurdistan, including up to 14 wells at the Tawke field, four at Peshkabir and two at the Baeshiqa license. Another five wells are planned in Norway on DNO’s licenses.

In Kurdistan, two recently completed wells, Peshkabir-9 and Tawke-52, will be placed on production in February. Testing of the first Baeshiqa exploration well targeting the Cretaceous reservoir has been delayed by extensive rainfall but is also expected to commence this month.

Already the leading international oil company in Kurdistan, with a 75 percent operating interest in fields contributing a third of the region’s total exports, the Company is now firmly establishing itself in Norway as it completes the takeover of Faroe Petroleum plc. With 90 licenses, of which 22 are operated, DNO will leapfrog to the ranks of the top five companies in total licenses held in Norway.

“The Faroe transaction transforms DNO into a more diversified company with a strong, second leg,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. “This represents not a pivot away from Kurdistan but a pivot to Norway,” he added. “We are now well positioned in two areas in which we have a comparative, even competitive, advantage.”

The combination places DNO among the top three European-listed independent oil and gas companies in production and reserves.

DNO has acquired more than 96 percent of Faroe shares and initiated the compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares. The integration of the Faroe and DNO organizations is well underway; the new combined entity has over 1,100 employees and offices in Oslo, Stavanger, Erbil, Dubai, London, Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth.

The Company will release pro-forma financials and 2019 investment programs and budgets for the combined entity in February and March.

Separately, DNO’s Board of Directors have approved a dividend payment of NOK 0.20 per share to be made on or about 27 March 2019 to all shareholders of record as of 18 March 2019. DNO shares will be traded ex-dividend as of 15 March 2019.

(Source: DNO)

Genel Energy gives update on Taq Taq Field

Genel Energy has announced an update on activity at the Taq Taq Field (Genel 44% working interest).

Testing of the TT-32 well has now completed. The well flowed oil from three separate zones, with a maximum individual zone flow rate of c.5,500 bopd with a 36/64″ choke.

The free water level was encountered at 1458 metres, which was 29 metres deeper than the pre-drill estimate and only 57 metres above the original field-wide FWL. The oil column at the TT-32 well location is 169 metres. TT-32 has further demonstrated the remaining potential on the flanks of Taq Taq Field.

The well has now entered production at an initial rate of 3,100 bopd with a 24/64″ choke, ahead of previous expectations. With the inclusion of this production, gross production from the Taq Taq Field is currently c.13,750 bopd.

The horizontal sidetrack well TT-20z spud on 11 January. This well is targeting production from the Shiranish Formation on the western flank of the field, and drilling operations are expected to complete in mid-February.

Three further wells are scheduled to be drilled in 2019, as Genel continues to target the flanks of the field with the aim of delivering a year-on-year production increase.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Genel shares Rise on Chevron Iraq Partnership

Shares in Genel Energy were trading up 6 percent on Monday afternoon after the company announced that it has reached agreement to acquire stakes in the Chevron-operated Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks (pictured), in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Genel will acquire 30% equity in the Sarta licence by paying a 50% share of ongoing field development costs until a specific production target is reached, together with a success fee payable on achievement of a production milestone. Chevron will retain a 50% interest in the Sarta licence and the Kurdistan Regional Government will hold the remaining 20%. Genel’s estimate of its total spend up to end-2020 is c.$60 million.

Drilling began on the first appraisal well, Sarta-3, in Q4 2017. The well was successfully completed and tested during the second quarter of 2018. Both that and the Sarta-2 well individually tested at rates of c.7,500 bopd. The first phase of development is expected to see these wells placed on production.

Genel will acquire 40% equity of the Qara Dagh appraisal licence and become the operator through a carry arrangement. Chevron will retain 40% of the equity, with the KRG holding the remaining 20%. The Qara Dagh-2 well is set to be drilled in 2020. The Qara Dagh-1 well, completed in 2011, tested oil in two zones from the Shiranish formation.

Closing is subject to approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Murat Özgül, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen as a partner to Chevron. The agreement provides access to a phased development opportunity with significant growth potential at Sarta, and an exciting appraisal opportunity at Qara Dagh. The additions to our portfolio are an important step in our diversification strategy, offering a further opportunity for near-term production and cash-generation.”

(Sources: Genel Energy, Yahoo!)

Erdogan’s plans in Iraqi Kurdistan may Backfire

By Fazel Hawramy for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

For about 10 years, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which controls Erbil and Dahuk provinces in Iraq, has enjoyed close working relations with the Turkish government on trade, energy and security. The main architect of this opening has been the KDP’s Nechirvan Barzani.

The KDP, unlike other Iraqi Kurdish groups, has also acted as a counterweight since the 1990s to the formidable Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrilla movement — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s archenemy — by allowing Turkey to establish a number of military bases to monitor PKK activities.

However, Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) since 2012, was not nominated by the KDP to form the next KRG Cabinet. This is causing Erdogan to worry about the fate of a 50-year secretive energy deal made with Barzani in 2014.

Click here to read the full story.

GKP to Increase Production; Shares Rise

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) closed 4.3 percent higher on Wednesday after the company provided an operational and corporate update.

Operational

  • Production operations, underpinned by strong performance of the Shaikan Jurassic reservoir, continue in line with expectations. Average gross production of 31,563 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) was achieved in 2018, at the upper end of the 27,000 – 32,000 bopd guidance.
  • The plant debottlenecking programme required to expand gross production capacity to 55,000 bopd from PF-1 and PF-2 remains on schedule for completion towards the end of 2019.
  • GKP has signed an agreement with Independent Oil Tools to use ‘Rig 1’ during the Company’s workover programme to replace tubing on SH-1 and SH-3 wells and install downhole pumps (“ESPs”) on three other existing wells. The rig has been mobilised and is currently performing a workover on the SH-1 well to install larger bore tubing to increase productivity.
  • GKP has also signed an agreement with the rig operator, DQE, to use ‘Rig 40’ for its upcoming drilling campaign, due to start in March 2019, with the first four wells (needed for the 55,000 bopd target) expected to be completed in Q1 2020.
  • Since July 2018, all production from PF-2 has been exported via the Atrush export pipeline which connects to the main Kurdish export pipeline. Additional pumps along with a temporary unloading facility have now been installed at PF-2 which allows the majority of production from PF-1 to be trucked to PF-2 and exported via pipeline. Today, only ca.3,000 bopd are exported by truck via Fishkhabour which lowers HSSE exposure.
  • Further progress has been made, including delivery of all 16″ pipeline to the field, on the installation by KAR Group of the pipeline also connecting PF-1 to the Atrush export pipeline. This remains on schedule to be brought into service mid-2019, at which point the residual trucking of crude oil will be eliminated.
  • GKP and its partner MOL have agreed on a staged investment programme to increase gross production up to 110,000 bopd by 2024. The revised Field Development Plan was submitted for approval to the Ministry of Natural Resources in October 2018. The current expansion to 55,000 bopd is already underway.

Corporate

  • GKP has continued to receive regular oil payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government, with cash receipts of $225 million net to GKP during 2018.
  • Cash balance of $294 million as at 15 January 2019. The Company remains fully funded to complete the expansion to 55,000 bopd.
  • Gross capital expenditure guidance for the total 55,000 bopd project phase remains unchanged at $200 million to $230 million.
  • Of the 2018 approved gross budget of $91 million, ca.$40 million has been transferred to early 2019 which was primarily driven by delays in delivery of drilling and well completion equipment.

Outlook

  • Given the active 2019 investment programme, particularly in new wells and workovers, the Company anticipates improved production levels this year and expects gross average production guidance to be in the range of 32,000 – 38,000 bopd.
  • The above guidance takes account the latest drilling and project schedules, but also the temporary plant shut-downs required in 2019 for the tie-in of new facilities and wells being offline while workovers are taking place.
  • 55,000 bopd production target moved to early 2020 due to delays in the delivery of equipment, affecting the start date of the drilling campaign, originally January, now March 2019.
  • The Company intends to host a Capital Markets Day in the first quarter of 2019. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Commenting, Jón Ferrier, CEO, said:

Having successfully laid the foundations for our expansion plans in 2018, we are very pleased to have now initiated our new investment programme at Shaikan.

“We continue to make considerable operational headway as we look to safely increase production to 55,000 bopd, in line with our strategy. 2019 is set to be another important year for Gulf Keystone and we look forward to keeping our stakeholders updated on our ongoing progress.”

(Source: GKP)

Kurdistan Tourism to “Double” by 2025

By John Lee.

The head of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Board of Tourism has reportedly said that tourism is expected to “approach” 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.

Mawlawi Jabar Wahab told Rudaw that this would be roughly double the sector’s current size.

Visitor numbers are now beginning to climb once more, topping three million in 2018.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Kurdistan Tourism to “Double” by 2025

By John Lee.

The head of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Board of Tourism has reportedly said that tourism is expected to “approach” 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.

Mawlawi Jabar Wahab told Rudaw that this would be roughly double the sector’s current size.

Visitor numbers are now beginning to climb once more, topping three million in 2018.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)