KRG Delays Payments to Oil Firms

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has delayed payments to oil producers by several weeks.

In statements to the markets on on Thursday, Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) and Shamaran Petroleum said that payments relating to invoices for oil production in August and September, which were due to be paid in November and December, will be received in January 2020.

(Sources: Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), Shamaran Petroleum)

Genel Energy Chairman Steps Down

Following the announcement of 16 May 2019, in which it was stated that Steve Whyte (pictured), Chairman of Genel Energy, would not be standing for re-election at the 2020 Annual General Meeting, the Company announces that Steve has now resigned with immediate effect.

George Rose, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, will act as interim Chairman until the ongoing search for a permanent Chairman is completed.

George Rose, interim Chairman of Genel, said:

When Steve joined Genel the Company had net debt of almost $150 million and unpaid oil receivables of over $400 million. He was a driving force behind the Receivable Settlement Agreement, which has transformed Genel’s financial position. We now have a stronger portfolio with exciting growth options and the right team to deliver them.

“Our highly cash generative oil production more than funds this growth, with sufficient cash left over to pay a material and progressive dividend. I would like to thank Steve for his efforts at Genel and look forward to seeing his future successes.”

(Source: Genel Energy)

Genel Energy Production Rises; Shares Up

Shares in Genel Energy closed up nearly 7 percent on Friday after the company reported increased production in its operations update for the third quarter and first nine months of 2019. The information contained herein has not been audited and may be subject to further review.

Bill Higgs (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

We continue to deliver on our strategy. Robust production is generating material free cash flow, which we are recycling into low-risk and quick returning projects, with good progress made on delivering key milestones on schedule for both Sarta and Qara Dagh.

“Rapid payback from our low break-even assets gives us resilience and significant flexibility in regard tofuture capital allocation. The sustainability of our cash-generation provides opportunities to deliver material shareholder value through investing in growth and increasing returns to shareholders.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

  • $287 million of cash proceeds received as of 30 September 2019, of which $120 million was received in Q3
  • Free cash flow of $121 million in the first nine months of 2019,with capital expenditure of $110 million
  • Cash of $413 million at 30 September 2019 ($281 million at 30 September 2018)
  • Net cash of $115 million at 30 September 2019 (net debt of $16 million at 30 September 2018)

OPERATING PERFORMANCE

  • Net production averaged 36,530 bopd in the first nine months of 2019, an increase of 12% year-on-year, in line with guidance
  • Production in Q3 averaged34,720 bopd (33,700 bopd in Q3 2018)
  • 11 wells have been placed on production in 2019, with a further five wells expected to add to production in the remainder of the year
  • Production and sales by asset during Q3 2019 were as follows:

PRODUCTION ASSETS

  • Tawke PSC (Genel 25% working interest)
    • Tawke PSC production averaged 119,760 bopd in Q3 (113,100 bopd in Q3 2018), including a contribution of 51,940 bopd from the Peshkabir field
    • Production was impacted by a workover of the P-2 well and side-track of the P-3 well at the Peshkabir field, with the latter well expected to come onstream shortly
    • The Tawke-57A deep well to appraise the Jurassic was spud in August 2019 with testing to commence shortly. The Tawke-59 Cretaceous well spud in October 2019 and is expected to come on production later this month, with two Jeribe wells, Tawke-61 and Tawke-62 also set to be placed on production shortly
    • Four additional Jeribe wells are planned to spud by year-end
    • The operator expects to exit the year with Tawke licence production averaging 120,000 bopd and to maintain this rate into 2020
  • Taq Taq PSC (Genel 44% working interest and joint operator)
    • Taq Taq field production averaged 10,870 bopd in Q3 2019 (12,200 bopd in Q3 2018)
    • Following the successful completion of the TT-19 well, which is currently flowing at a rate of c.1,500 bopd, current production from the Taq Taq field is just under 11,000 bopd
    • The TT-34 well is currently drilling and is scheduled to complete later this month. The rig will then move to drill TT-35, which is set to spud in December and is targeting production from the northern flank of the field

PRE-PRODUCTION ASSETS

  • Sarta (Genel 30% working interest)
    • Civil construction work at the Sarta field completed on schedule in October 2019, and work on the construction of the 20,000 bopd central processing facility (‘CPF’) has now begun
    • Commissioning of the CPF and production are on track to begin in the middle of 2020
    • Phase 1A represents a low cost pilot development of the Mus-Adaiyah reservoirs, designed to recover 2P gross reserves of 34 MMbbls
    • Unrisked gross mid case resources relating to the Mus-Adaiyah reservoir only are estimated by Genel at c.150 MMbbls, with overall unrisked gross P50 resources currently estimated by the Company at c.500 MMbbls
  • Qara Dagh (Genel 40% working interest and operator)
    • Genel has signed a contract with Parker Drilling for the drilling of the QD-2 well, and civil construction works are underway in preparation for the upcoming drilling operations
    • The well will test the structural crest 10 km to the north-west of the QD-1 well, which tested sweet, light oil from Cretaceous carbonates
    • The QD-2 well is on track to spud in H1 2020
    • Unrisked gross mean resources at Qara Dagh are currently estimated by Genel at c.200 MMbbls
  • Bina Bawi (Genel 100% and operator)
    • Negotiations between Genel and the Kurdistan Regional Government continue to progress regarding commercial terms for the gas and oil development at Bina Bawi
    • In parallel with these negotiations, Genel is completing the necessary readiness work required to enable rapid progress towards gas and oil developments upon agreement of the commercial terms
    • Genel is confident of a positive outcome to these commercial discussions
  • Somaliland
    • Onshore Somaliland, Stellar Energy Advisors has been appointed to run the farm-out process relating to the SL10B13 block (Genel 75% working interest, operator)
    • Interpretation of the 2018 2D seismic data together with basin analysis has identified multiple stacked prospects, with each of them estimated to have resources of c.200 MMbbls
    • A further program of surface oil seep sampling and analysis reiterates the presence of a working petroleum system on the block
    • It is estimated that a well designed to test multiple stacked prospects could be drilled for c.$30 million gross
  • Morocco
    • On the Sidi Moussa block offshore Morocco (Genel 75% working interest, operator), processing of the multi-azimuth broadband 3D seismic survey acquired in 2018 over the prospective portions of the block is nearing completion
    • The farm-out campaign is on track to begin in Q1 2020, aimed at bringing a partner onto the licence prior to considering further commitments

OUTLOOK AND 2019 GUIDANCE

  • Net production guidance in 2019 maintained at close to Q4 2018 levels of 36,900 bopd
  • 2019 capital expenditure guidance maintained towards the top end of the $150-170 million range
  • Interim dividend of 5¢ per share to be paid on 8 January 2020 to shareholders on the register as of 13 December 2019
    • Given the ongoing strength of cash generation and the positive outlook for the Company, Genel reaffirms its commitment to growing the dividend
  • The Company continues to actively pursue growth and is assessing opportunities to make value-accretive additions to the portfolio

(Source: Genel Energy)

DNO Shares Down 7.5%

By John Lee.

Shares in DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, were trading down 7.5 percent on Thursday morning, after the company reported a net loss for the third quarter.

The company reported what it described as strong third quarter revenues of USD 227 million, up 33 percent from a year earlier, on the back of solid production averaging 99,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) on a Company Working Interest (CWI) basis, up 22 percent year on year.

In its statement, the company added:

Notwithstanding strong underlying performance, 2019 third quarter results were impacted by non-recurring items as well as lower oil prices and higher exploration expenses, resulting in a net loss of USD 96 million.

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, third quarter production at the Tawke license containing the DNO-operated Tawke and Peshkabir fields (shared 75-25 with partner Genel Energy plc) averaged 119,800 barrels of oil per day (bopd). The Company expects to exit the year with Tawke license production averaging 120,000 bopd and to maintain this rate into 2020. The Company recently reached a significant milestone of 300 million barrels of cumulative oil production from the Tawke and Peshkabir fields.

Activity remains high as the Company continues to deliver its largest drilling campaign in its 48-year history with some 36 wells in 2019, of which 22 are development/infill wells and 14 exploration/appraisal wells. DNO projects full-year operational spend of USD 620 million (post-tax), of which USD 454 million was spent through the end of the third quarter, including USD 244 million in Kurdistan and USD 210 million (post-tax) in the North Sea.

Financial results were impacted by impairment charges of USD 138 million, including USD 89 million for technical goodwill on the Brasse discovery (Norway) and USD 33 million for decommissioning of the Schooner and Ketch fields (United Kingdom).

With USD 228 million in cash from operations during the third quarter, the Company resumed its share buyback program and acquired 23 million shares at a cost of USD 35 million, lifting its overall stake to 58 million treasury shares, representing 5.35 percent of the total outstanding shares at end quarter. DNO also bought back an additional USD 17 million of FAPE01 bonds during the quarter.

DNO maintained its previously approved dividend distribution program with another semi-annual payment of NOK 0.20 per share to be made on 4 November 2019.

“We continue to deliver across a range of operating and financial targets even as we paused this quarter for early spring cleaning of our balance sheet,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. “Given global headwinds, we are budgeting at the low end of the industry’s Brent price range of USD 60-70 per barrel,” he added.

CWI production during the third quarter included 84,400 bopd from Kurdistan and 14,900 boepd from North Sea assets acquired earlier this year.

In 2019, nine wells were spud in Kurdistan through the end of the third quarter, with an additional ten wells planned for the fourth quarter. In the North Sea, 13 wells were spud through the end of the quarter, with an additional four wells planned for the fourth quarter, including DNO’s first operated exploration well, Canela, in the North Sea since 2007.

DNO exited the third quarter with a cash balance of USD 624 million in addition to USD 110 million in treasury shares and marketable securities.

(Source: DNO)

Parker Drilling Wins Contract at Qara Dagh

Genel Energy has announced the signing of a contract with Parker Drilling for the drilling of the QD-2 well on the Qara Dagh field (Genel 40% working interest, operator), in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The QD-2 well will test the structural crest 10 km to the north-west of the QD-1 well, which tested sweet, light oil from Cretaceous carbonates. The Parker-269 rig (pictured) has been contracted to drill the well.

Civil construction works for the well pad and camp are now underway, and the well is on track to spud in H1 2020.

Unrisked gross mean resources at Qara Dagh are currently estimated by Genel at c.200 MMbbls.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Oilserv Wins Contract at Sarta Oilfield

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has confirmed that Chevron Sarta, as operator of the Sarta field (Genel 30% working interest), has signed a contract with Dubai-based OILSERV for the construction, installation, operation and maintenance of a 20,000 bopd central processing facility (‘CPF’).

OILSERV has been contracted for the facility through a lease agreement. The commissioning of the CPF and production start-up remains on track for the middle of 2020.

Phase 1A of the development represents a low-cost pilot development of the Mus-Adaiyah reservoirs, designed to recover 2P gross reserves of 34 MMbbls. Crude will be processed through the CPF and then transferred to a local facility for further distribution.

Subsequent expansion investment decisions will be based on production behaviour plus a subsequent two to three well appraisal/development campaign. Unrisked gross mid-case resources relating to the Jurassic Mus-Adaiyah reservoir alone are estimated by Genel at c.150 MMbbls, similar in size to the Peshkabir field.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Genel Energy declares maiden Interim Dividend

Genel Energy has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2019.

Bill Higgs (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

These results demonstrate the continued success of our strategy -highly cash generative productionunderpins capital investment in growth opportunities that deliver rapid returns and enables a compelling cash return to shareholders through our dividend.

“Our production grew 17% in H1 2019, and pro forma free cash flow rose to $76 million. This cash generation, and our strong balance sheet, allows us to both increase investment in growing the business as well as returning cash to shareholders via dividends. Accordingly, we have today announced an interim dividend of $14 million.

“Disciplined capital allocation remains at the core of our business. The speed with which our investments pay back means that cash is quickly recycled to create most value for shareholders. The cash that our production generates funds worknow underway at Sarta and Qara Dagh, with plenty left over to both pay a dividend and seek new opportunities, as we progress Genel’s growth strategy.

Results summary ($ million unless stated)

H1

2019

H1

2018

FY

2018

Production (bopd, working interest) 37,400 32,100 33,700
Revenue 194.3 161.1 355.1
EBITDAX 1 167.3 137.4 304.1
  Depreciation and amortisation (74.8) (63.6) (136.2)
  Exploration (expense) / credit (0.6) (0.5) 1.5
  Impairment of intangible assets (424.0)
Operating profit / (loss) 91.9 73.3 (254.6)
Cash flow from operating activities 142.3 125.1 299.2
Capital expenditure 72.2 34.1 95.5
Free cash flow2 56.7 70.1 164.2
Pro forma free cash flow2 75.6 70.1 164.2
Dividend payments 27.4
Cash3 353.3 233.2 334.3
Total debt 300.0 300.0 300.0
Net cash (debt)4 55.8 (63.8) 37.0
Basic EPS (¢ per share) 27.2 21.3 (101.6)
Underlying EPS (¢ per share)1 59.9 49.2 109.0
  1. EBITDAX is operating profit / (loss) adjusted for the add back of depreciation and amortisation ($74.8 million) and exploration expense ($0.6 million). Underlying EPS is EBITDAX divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares
  2. Free cash flow is set out on page 7 and does not include $18.9 million, invoiced for Tawke production and due in June 2019 and received late on 9 July 2019, with the delay due to a change in the Operator’s banking arrangements. Pro forma free cash flow of $75.6 million includes this payment.
  3. Cash reported at 30 June 2019 excludes $10 million of restricted cash and the $18.9 million noted above
  4. Reported IFRS debt less cash

Highlights

  • Working interest production averaged 37,400 bopd in H1 2019 (H1 2018: 32,100 bopd), an increase of 17% compared to H1 2018
    • 8 wells completed in H1 2019, resulting in year-on-year production increases at both the Tawke and Taq Taq PSCs
  • Free cash generation of $57 million in H1 2019 (H1 2018: $70 million), which increases to $76 million when including the post period receipt of $19 million, with annual free cash flow yield of c.20% of current market capitalisation
  • Net cash of $56 million at 30 June 2019 (net debt of $64 million at 30 June 2018)
    • Following the receipt of all payments relating to April 2019, Genel had $390 million of cash as of 5 August 2019, a net cash position of $92 million
  • Addition of Sarta and Qara Dagh to the portfolio in January 2019 provides near-term production and material future growth potential
  • Maiden dividend distribution of 10¢ per share paid on 24 June 2019
  • Interim dividend of 5¢ per share confirmed
  • Genel retains an open mandate for a share buy-back programme of up to $10 million, and will continue to review purchasing opportunities

Outlook

  • Net production guidance in 2019 maintained at close to Q4 2018 levels of 36,900 bopd, an increase of c.10% year-on-year
  • Drilling programme ongoing, with over 10 wells set to be completed by early 2020
  • Active discussions with the Kurdistan Regional Government (‘KRG’) regarding Bina Bawi are ongoing, focused on agreeing the detailed commercial terms for the integrated Phase 1 oil and gas development and approval of the associated field development plans
  • Work continuing at Sarta to prepare for production by the middle of 2020
  • QD-2 well location agreed at Qara Dagh, well pad civil engineering work set to begin
  • Farm-out process relating to Somaliland acreage to begin in late Q3 2019
  • Genel expects to generate material free cash flow in H2 2019, even while investment in growth increases
    • 2019 capital expenditure is expected to be towards the top end of the $150-170 million guidance range
  • Searches for a new Chairman and Chief Operating Officer are progressing
  • The Company continues to actively pursue growth and is assessing opportunities to make value-accretive additions to the portfolio

More details here.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Production at Tawke and Peshkabir up 20%

By John Lee.

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced what it described as solid first half 2019 financial and operating results as the company continued to deliver the largest drilling program in its 48-year history:

H1 2019 revenue totalled USD 470 million, up 62 percent from the same period last year, while net profit doubled to USD 119 million.

“DNO’s Company Working Interest (CWI) production averaged 107,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in H1 2019, up 39 percent from H1 2018, reflecting strong contributions from its fields in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (89,300 barrels of oil per day or bopd) as well as from its recently acquired North Sea assets (17,800 boepd).

“In Kurdistan, H1 2019 gross production at the Tawke license containing the DNO-operated Tawke and Peshkabir fields (shared 75-25 with Genel Energy plc) averaged 126,700 bopd, up 20 percent from H1 2018. In H1 2019, Tawke contributed 71,700 bopd and Peshkabir 55,000 bopd.

“Some 36 wells are planned in 2019 of which 23 are development/infill wells and 13 exploration/appraisal wells. DNO projects full-year operational spend of USD 680 million, split evenly between its core areas in Kurdistan and the North Sea.

“In addition to 15 wells spud in the first half of the year across the portfolio, plans for the second half include 12 wells at Tawke and three at Peshkabir, now the second largest operated field by an international oil company in Kurdistan after Tawke. Also in Kurdistan, two wells have been drilled and completed in the DNO-operated Baeshiqa license with the deeper well to be tested beginning in August.

“Elsewhere, the Company continues to pursue an active North Sea strategy with plans to drill six more wells in the second half of the year in addition to the nine spud in the first half. Also, DNO was recently awarded as operator two new exploration licences in the United Kingdom.

“DNO exited the second quarter with a cash balance of USD 574 million in addition to USD 94 million in treasury shares and marketable securities.

(Source: DNO)

Stephen Whyte to step down at Genel Energy

Stephen Whyte, Chairman of Genel Energy, gave the following update on the business at the Company’s Annual General Meeting, held in London on Thursday:

Genel had a very successful 2018, with free cash flow generation of $164 million even while making significant investment in growth.

2019 has seen us continue this success. We are delivering year-on-year production growth, we have made portfolio additions that perfectly complement our existing asset base, and our cash position continues to strengthen.

Genel is participating in 20 wells this year, the most of any IOC in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (‘KRI’). Drilling on the Tawke and Peshkabir fields is ongoing, with activity ramping up as we progress through 2019. Year to date production from the Tawke PSC is currently c.126,800 bopd, with Peshkabir driving impressive growth compared to the prior year’s period.

The drilling programme at Taq Taq has now delivered three successful wells, and year to date production is currently c.13,300 bopd, an increase from the 2018 average of 12,350 bopd. We are continuing to achieve successful results from the flanks of the field, and are drilling ahead at pace.

Total Genel working interest production across all assets is 37,600 bopd, running slightly ahead of our expected 10% increase in year-on-year production.

Even as we invest to deliver this production increase we continue to improve our cash position, generating almost $50 million in free cash flow in the first four months of the year. We expect to keep up this impressive run rate. Our current expectation is that we will generate well over $100 million in free cash flow over the course of 2019, prior to the payment of the dividend, even after increasing expenditure on our growth opportunities.

The results at Peshkabir show the significant success that can be obtained from our low-cost, rapid return operations in the KRI. While investing to increase production from 12,000 bopd to 55,000 bopd over the course of the year, Genel still generated $50 million of free cash flow from the asset. This level of return is hard to match anywhere else in the world, and illustrates why we continue to look for further opportunities in the KRI.

Put simply, the KRI is a very good place in which to operate. Payments have been made on a monthly basis for over three and a half years now, the political situation continues to improve – with Baghdad having made budget payments to the Kurdistan Regional Government for over a year – and the low-cost of operations helping to set a breakeven oil price at an asset level of $20/bbl.

We are still looking to diversify the portfolio, but we will not ignore further opportunities in the KRI – and indeed continue to focus on these where our presence on the ground and regional expertise mean we can maximise their value potential for shareholders.

In that context, as you are probably aware by now, we were delighted to add Sarta and Qara Dagh to the portfolio. They tick all of the boxes, as we partner with Chevron on assets that offer a mixture of near-term production and long-term growth potential.

Sarta is expected to enter production in the middle of 2020, and we will develop the field utilising a similar strategy to the one that was so successful (and cash-generative) at Peshkabir. While we do not want to get ahead of ourselves there are hydrocarbons throughout the structure in all of the typical KRI reservoirs, from the Tertiary down to the Triassic.

We are focused on building an even stronger business with material growth potential, providing a clear and compelling investment case that offers the opportunity for a significant increase in shareholder value. As we prioritise that growth, we have also initiated a material and sustainable dividend, providing investors with a compelling mix of growth and returns.

I am delighted that Bill Higgs is now sitting alongside me as CEO, and that Esa Ikaheimonen, our CFO, has also joined the Board.

On a personal level, the transition that I was keen to oversee is now complete. As such I have decided that this will be my last AGM as Chairman of Genel, and I will leave the Company for new challenges once a suitable successor has been identified. When I joined the Board two years ago the share price was under 80p, production was declining, Genel had unpaid oil receivables of over $400 million and $142 million in net debt.

Genel’s production and net cash position is now rising, the portfolio is positioned to provide material organic growth, and Genel now has the right team to deliver that growth. Management has a wealth of experience in the sector, experience that can also be utilised to make further value-accretive portfolio additions and optimise our growing cash pile to generate value for shareholders.”

Genel will announce results for the six months ending 30 June 2019 on Tuesday 6 August 2019.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Peshkabir has generated $1bn, 4x Total Spend

DNO, as operator of the Tawke field in Iraqi Kurdistan, has today issued an update on licence activity.

Gross production from the Tawke licence, containing the Tawke and Peshkabir fields, averaged 126,759 bopd during the first quarter of 2019.

Tawke production currently averages c.73,000 bopd, and Peshkabir c.54,000 bopd. There is an active 2019 drilling campaign underway at the Tawke and Peshkabir fields, with a total of up to four Peshkabir wells and up to 14 Tawke wells.

The Peshkabir-9 well was completed and placed on production during the first quarter. The Peshkabir-10 well was spud in February and will come onstream shortly. The Peshkabir-11 well will spud later this month. Peshkabir production averaged 53,830 bopd during the first quarter.

Peshkabir has now generated $1 billion in gross revenue, or four times the total spend to date.

At the Tawke field, the Tawke-52 Cretaceous well was completed and placed on production during the quarter. The Tawke-54 Cretaceous well was spud in February and came onstream in mid-April, and the Tawke-55 Cretaceous well spud in April. Tawke field production averaged 72,929 bopd during the first quarter.

(Source: Genel Energy)