KRG files Civil suit against Baghdad Minister of Oil

By John Lee.

The Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has filed a civil suit against the Baghdad Minister of Oil, accusing him of sending emails and letters with the intention of intimidating international oil companies (IOCs) and interfering with the contractual rights of the IOCs and the KRG.

The KRG has also filed a criminal complaint against a Director General in the Baghdad Ministry of Oil for allegedly abusing his power and position by intimidating and harassing the IOCs working in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

This follows a series of summonses issued to the IOCs by a court in Baghdad, relating to their operations in Kurdistan Region.

Full statement from the KRG:

On 19 May 2022, a commercial court sitting in Al Karkh, Baghdad, acted at the request of the Minister of Oil in Baghdad and purported to issue summonses to international oil companies (IOCs) operating within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Those IOCs - which include Addax, DNO, Genel, Gulf Keystone, HKN, Shamaran, and WesternZagros - operate in the Kurdistan Region in accordance with the Kurdistan Region's Oil and Gas Law (No. 22 of 2007), which was issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government in accordance with its powers under the Constitution of Iraq.

These court summonses are the latest in a series of illegal actions taken by the Minister of Oil and his staff under the current caretaker government in Baghdad. These illegal actions are apparently based upon a ruling by a court in Baghdad that calls itself the "Federal Supreme Court". This so-called "Federal Supreme Court" issued a politically motivated decision on 15 February 2022, which purported to declare the 2007 Oil and Gas Law void.

No court in Baghdad has the authority to make such a declaration. On 28 February 2022, the President of the Kurdistan Region, together with the presidents of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Kurdistan Regional Government, issued a statement rejecting the 15 February decision. On 4 June 2022, the Judicial Council, the highest judicial institution in the Kurdistan Region, issued a statement upholding the validity of the 2007 Oil and Gas Law. The Council noted that Article 92(2) of the Constitution of Iraq requires that the Iraqi Council of Representatives pass a law to establish an Iraqi Federal Supreme Court. No such law has ever been enacted. Iraq, therefore, does not have a constitutionally established Federal Supreme Court. The court that issued the 15 February 2022 opinion purporting to invalidate the 2007 Oil and Gas Law has no constitutional authority to do so. On the contrary, the issuance of the 2007 Oil and Gas Law was entirely authorised under the Constitution of Iraq. As such, legally, the Oil and Gas Law remains in full force.

On 2 June 2022, the Kurdistan Regional Government filed a criminal complaint against a Director General in the Baghdad Ministry of Oil for abusing his power and position by intimidating and harassing the IOCs working in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In the view of the Kurdistan Regional Government, emails and letters sent to the IOCs undertaking work in the Kurdistan Region by that Director General were sent with the intention of intimidating the IOCs and interfering with the contractual rights of the IOCs and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The contracts entered into between the IOCs and the Kurdistan Regional Government are entirely in accordance with the 2007 Oil and Gas Law.

On 5 June 2022, the Erbil Court of Investigation ruled that the lawsuits filed in the Al Karkh commercial court against the IOCs must be brought to the Erbil Court to be examined as evidence in this criminal complaint. The Erbil Court also ruled that any lawsuits in the Al Karkh court must be delayed for this purpose, and that named criminal defendants, including the Baghdad Minister of Oil, must attend the criminal hearing in Erbil on 22 June 2022. Iraqi law (Article 26 of Criminal Procedural Law No. 23 of the year 1979) requires that civil proceedings cannot take place while a related criminal investigation is underway. In addition, Article 38 of Civil Procedural Law No. 83 of the year 1969 states that any civil proceeding against the IOCs must take place in the Kurdistan Region, where the IOCs are registered and operate.

Furthermore, on 5 June 2022 the Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government filed a civil suit against the Baghdad Minister of Oil. In the view of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Minister is liable under applicable civil law provisions for sending emails and letters with the intention of intimidating the IOCs and interfering with the contractual rights of the IOCs and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

(Source: KRG Ministry of Natural Resources)

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GKP outlines Payments to Govts for 2021

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has just published details of its payments to governments for the year 2021:

Introduction

This report sets out details of the payments made to governments by Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd and its subsidiary undertakings ("Gulf Keystone") for the year ended 31 December 2021 as required under Disclosure and Transparency Rule 4.3A issued by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority ("DTR 4.3A") and in accordance with The Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014 (as amended in 2015) ("the UK Regulations") and our interpretation of the Industry Guidance on the UK Regulations issued by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers. DTR 4.3A requires companies listed on a stock exchange in the UK and operating in the extractive industry to publicly disclose payments to governments in the countries where they undertake exploration, prospection, discovery, development and extraction of minerals, oil, natural gas deposits or other materials.

Basis for preparation

Total payments below £86,000 made to a government are excluded from this report, as permitted under the UK Regulations.

All of the payments made in relation to the Shaikan Production Sharing Contract ("Shaikan PSC") in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have been made to the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") of the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG").

Production entitlements

Production entitlements are the host government's share of production during the reporting period from the Shaikan Field operated by Gulf Keystone. The figures reported have been produced on an entitlement basis, rather than on a liftings basis. Production entitlements are paid in-kind and the monetary value disclosed is derived from management's calculation based on the monthly oil sales invoices.

Royalties

Royalties represent royalties paid in-kind to governments during the year for the extraction of oil. The terms of the royalties are described within the Shaikan PSC. Royalties have been calculated on the same basis as production entitlements.

Licence fees and capacity building payments

These include licence fees, rental fees, entry fees, capacity building payments, security fees and other considerations for licences or concessions.

Infrastructure improvement payments

These include payments for infrastructure improvements, whether contractual or otherwise, such as roads, other than in circumstances where the infrastructure is expected to be primarily dedicated to operational activities throughout its useful life.

KRG

Production entitlements in-kind (1) (mboe (2))

5,151

Production entitlements in-kind (1)  ($ '000)

255,763

Royalties in-kind (1) (mboe (2))

1,255

Royalties in-kind (1) (2) ($ '000)

62,320

Licence fees and capacity building payments in-kind (3) ($ '000)

17,385

Infrastructure improvement payments (4)

342

Total (mboe (2))

6,406

Total ($ '000)

355,811

Notes

(1)  All of the crude oil produced by Gulf Keystone was sold by the KRG. All proceeds of sale were received by or on behalf of the KRG, out of which the KRG then made payment for cost oil and profit oil in accordance with the Shaikan PSC to Gulf Keystone, in exchange for the crude oil delivered to the KRG. Under these arrangements, payments were made by or on behalf of the KRG to Gulf Keystone, rather than by Gulf Keystone to the KRG. However, for the purposes of the reporting requirements under the UK Regulations, we are required to characterise the value of the KRG's production entitlements under the Shaikan PSC (for which the KRG receives payment directly from the market) as a payment to the KRG.

(2)  Thousand barrels of oil.

(3)  Capacity building payments are deducted from the monthly crude oil sales invoice, no direct payment is made to the KRG. The value of licence, rental and security fees has been accrued and is not expected to be paid, but rather offset against revenue due from the KRG related to pre-October 2017 oil sales, which have not yet been recognised in the financial statements.

(4)  Drilling of water well, construction of water supply network and purchase of generators.

(Source: Gulf Keystone Petroleum)

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GKP declares Divi and gives Update

Gulf Keystone has provided an operational and corporate update:

Jon Harris (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We are pleased today to declare an additional interim dividend of $50 million, bringing distributions over the past eight months to $150 million in line with our commitment to balance investment in growth with returns to shareholders.

"Since the beginning of 2022, gross production peaked at just over 50,000 bopd and has averaged c.46,800 bopd, versus the 2021 average of 43,440 bopd. However, the lower productivity of recently completed wells, SH-13 and SH-14, and temporarily curtailed production from SH-12, have resulted in a delay in gross production increasing to 55,000 bopd. 2022 gross average production is expected to be 44,000 to 50,000 bopd.

"GKP's substantial production base at current oil prices continues to generate significant cash flow and value for Gulf Keystone's stakeholders. On approval of our recently submitted Field Development Plan, we are well positioned to achieve sustainable growth from the Shaikan Field, which has delivered close to 100 MMstb, and has 489 MMstb of estimated 2P gross reserves remaining."

Operational 

  • Continued strong focus on safety in 2021 despite one previously reported lost time incident ("LTI"); currently no LTIs recorded for over 90 days 
  • Gross average production for 2021 of 43,440 bopd, at the upper end of guidance range; gross average production in 2022 year to date of c.46,800 bopd
  • Drilling of SH-15 progressing well; continue to expect start-up in Q2 2022
  • Due to well productivity, the increase in gross production towards 55,000 bopd has been delayed
    • SH-13 & SH-14
      • Following completion of the acid stimulation programme on SH-13, and the clean-up of SH-14, both wells were brought on stream in December 2021 and their productivity has been below  expectations
      • An acid stimulation programme for SH-14 is currently ongoing
    • SH-12
      • Following the early appearance of trace quantities of water, production from the well has been temporarily curtailed, in line with the Company's prudent reservoir management strategy . The Company is investigating options to maximise near-term production from the well
      • Water ingress is common in fractured carbonate reservoirs like the Shaikan Field. Gulf Keystone has historically experienced trace amounts of water in a few other wells and has been successfully optimising their production levels. The Company continues to expedite plans to add water handling to further optimise production
  • The Company does not expect any material impact on reserves or medium-term production potential. Considering cumulative gross production of c.99 MMstb, 2P gross reserves are estimated to be 489 MMstb at 31 December 2021, based on the 2020 Competent Person's Report adjusted for 2021 production

Financial

  • Following $100m of dividends distributed in 2021, Gulf Keystone is pleased to announce that the Board has approved the declaration of an additional interim dividend of $50 million, equivalent to 23.394 US cents per Common Share of the Company
  • The interim dividend is expected to be paid on 25 February 2022, based on a record date of 11 February 2022. The Company will disclose the pounds sterling rate per share prior to the ex-dividend date of 10 February 2022
  • $283.2 million ($221.7 million net to GKP) received from the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2021 for payments of crude oil sales and recovery of outstanding arrears, with an additional $89.0 million ($69.7 million net to GKP) received in January 2022 for the combined September 2021 and October 2021 crude oil sales and arrears payments
  • The current outstanding arrears balance is $28.6 million net to GKP related to the January and February 2020 invoices
  • Robust balance sheet, with a cash balance of $228 million as at 21 January 2022

Outlook

  • The Company expects gross average production for 2022 of 44,000 to 50,000 bopd, reflecting the anticipated production contribution from SH-15 and benefits of well workover activities
  • Gulf Keystone continues to engage with the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") following the submission of a draft FDP in 2021. The Company will revert to the market at an appropriate time with details on the FDP and updated production guidance
  • With continuing strong oil prices and cash flow generation, there may be opportunities to consider further distributions to shareholders and to optimise the capital structure

(Source: GKP)

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GKP “on Track” to Meet Production Guidance

Gulf Keystone has provided an operational and corporate update:

Jon Harris, Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We are pleased to announce that we have submitted a draft Field Development Plan to the Ministry of Natural Resources. While the timing of FDP approval is uncertain given the scale of the project, this is an important step forward to develop the significant potential of the Shaikan Field while more than halving CO2 per barrel by eliminating routine flaring.

"Production performance has been strong, reaching a record monthly average high in October, and we are on track to meet our tightened 2021 gross average production guidance. With our leverage to oil prices and low cost base, strong production has translated into robust cash flow generation. We have experienced operational challenges with SH-13 and SH-14 and, subject to well productivity, we are now targeting to increase gross production towards 55,000 bopd in January."

Shaikan Field Development Plan ("FDP")

  • Following extensive constructive engagement with the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR"), Gulf Keystone and its partner Kalegran B.V. (a subsidiary of MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc) ("MOL") have submitted a draft FDP to the MNR
  • The FDP includes the continued ramp-up of Jurassic oil production , an appraisal of the Triassic reservoir and a Gas Management Plan to more than halve CO2 per barrel by eliminating routine flaring
  • The FDP is subject to review and final approval by the MNR, the timing of which is uncertain given the scale of the project. Final investment decision ("FID") is also subject to approval of both Boards of Directors of Gulf Keystone and MOL, and the Company will provide an update at the appropriate time

Operational

  • Following over 660 days without a Lost Time Incident ("LTI"), we were disappointed to have an LTI during drilling operations in October. Following the incident, we have completed a full investigation and have put in place a number of remedial actions
  • Gross average production from the field in 2021 to date of c.43,300 bopd, in line with tightened 2021 guidance, with record gross average production in October of 45,654 bopd
  • SH-14 has been drilled, completed and is currently being hooked-up , following delays caused by equipment failures and wellbore issues in the subsequent side-track
  • Following the rig move from the SH-13/SH-14 well pad, an acid stimulation programme is now underway on SH-13 to access the broader fracture network in the reservoir after an area of low fracture connectivity was encountered. Acid stimulation is commonly used in carbonate reservoirs such as Shaikan
  • Activities are ongoing to start production from SH-13 and SH-14 and the increase in gross production towards 55,000 bopd, subject to well productivity, is now expected in January
  • Preparations are ongoing to spud SH-15 (formerly referred to as SH-G) which is now expected to be brought onstream in Q2 2022
  • Planned installation of two electric submersible pumps deferred to 2022 after successful trial of lower cost jet pump solution at SH-10 and stronger than expected SH-11 reservoir performance

Financial

  • $283.2 million ($221.7 million net to GKP) received from the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2021 to date for payments of crude oil sales and recovery of outstanding arrears. $32.4 million of the original total net arrears balance of $73.3 million has now been recovered
  • The delayed payment for September 2021 crude oil sales and arrears (gross: $37.8 million; net to GKP: $29.6 million) is expected to be paid shortly
  • Following the payment of the $50 million interim dividend on 8 October 2021, $100 million of dividends have been distributed to shareholders in 2021, in line with the Company's strategy of balancing investment in growth with shareholder returns
  • Robust balance sheet, with a cash balance of $176 million as at 16 December 2021

Outlook

  • On track to meet tightened 2021 average gross production guidance of 42,000 to 44,000 bopd
  • 2021 net Capex guidance lowered from $75-$85 million to approximately $55 million, principally due to the revised spud date of SH-15 and deferral of installation of SH-10 and SH-11 electric submersible pumps, partially offset by the higher cost of SH-14
  • 2021 gross Opex guidance of $2.5 to $2.9/bbl remains unchanged
  • With continuing strong oil prices and cash flow generation, there may be opportunities to consider further distributions to shareholders and to optimise the capital structure

AGM update

At the Company's Annual General Meeting ("AGM") held on 18 June 2021, all resolutions were successfully passed. However, resolutions 2 and 6, being the re-election of the Company's Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, failed to attain the support of 80% of the shareholders who voted. Voting turnout in general was low relative to prior years, with approximately 49% of the total shareholder register voting. The Company continues to look at ways to increase voting turnout at future general meetings.

Substantially all the votes against resolutions 2 and 6 were from a single major shareholder. In accordance with Provision 4 of the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code, the Board has consulted with the single shareholder, and, as part of this exercise, also consulted with the Company's other major shareholders.

Feedback received from the single shareholder encompassed issues principally related to the Company's operational progress, organisational structure and capital allocation. The Company also received feedback from other major shareholders, all of which were supportive of resolutions 2 and 6. The Board has carefully considered the issues and has addressed them, to the extent possible or necessary. The independent members of the Board continue to hold every confidence in both the Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, recognising the value and contribution each bring to the Company.

The Company will continue to engage with the major shareholder in question and welcomes ongoing engagement and feedback from all shareholders.

(Source: GKP)

The post GKP "on Track" to Meet Production Guidance first appeared on Iraq Business News.

GKP Shares Rally on Half-Year Results

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), a leading independent operator and producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, were trading 12 percent higher today after the company announced its results for the half year ended 30 June 2021.

Jon Harris (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"I am pleased to report strong operational and financial performance in the first half of 2021, despite the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our leverage to the recovery in oil prices, combined with safe and reliable production towards the top end of our guidance range and a continued sharp focus on costs, has resulted in significant cash flow generation. With continued strong production performance from the Shaikan Field, we are tightening the 2021 production guidance range to 42,000 - 44,000 bopd.

"We continue to deliver against our commitment to balance investment in growth and returns to shareholders. Today, we are pleased to declare an interim dividend for 2021 of $50 million, bringing total dividends this year to $100 million.

"The early restart of the drilling campaign in June enables us to maintain production growth momentum and to drill an additional well, SH-G, in 2021 after completion of SH-14, the final well in the 55,000 bopd investment programme. SH-14 is expected to come onstream in Q4 2021, while we expect SH-G to come onstream in Q1 2022.

"We continue to work closely with the MNR and our partner on the preparation of the Shaikan FDP and expect to submit the FDP to the MNR in Q4 2021 for approval."

Highlights to 30 June 2021 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Remain focused on safe and reliable operations with No Lost Time Incident ("LTI") recorded for over 600 days and no recordable incidents for around 550 days
  • Continuing to manage the challenges presented by COVID-19 to protect the health of staff and contractors
  • Strong average gross 2021 production to 31 August 2021 of c.42,900 bopd, up 18% from the corresponding period in 2020 and towards the top end of 2021 guidance; gross production on 31 August 2021 was 42,842 bopd
  • Drilling activities progressing well following early restart in June; SH-13 expected to come onstream imminently ; drilling of SH-14 underway with completion and hook-up expected in Q4 2021
  • Capitalising on early restart of drilling and opportunity to maintain a continuous drilling programme, planning to spud SH-G in Q4 2021, after completion of SH-14. SH-G is expected to commence production in Q1 2022
  • SH-G, the first well after the 55,000 bopd expansion programme, is an opportunity to maintain growth and momentum while we prepare the Shaikan Field Development Plan ("FDP")
  • Completed debottlenecking of PF-2, increasing total field processing capacity to c.57,500 bopd

Financial

  • H1 2021 revenue up 162% to $130.7 million (H1 2020: $49.9m) contributing to a return to profit after tax of $64.8 million (H1 2020: $33.1 million loss)
  • Adjusted H1 2021 EBITDA of $93.8 million, more than triple $27.5 million in H1 2020, driven by the Company's strong leverage to the recovery in oil prices, increase in production and low-cost base:
    • Realised price up 129% to $43.7/bbl (H1 2020: $19.1/bbl)
    • H1 2021 gross average production up 17% to 43,516 bopd (H1 2020: 37,159 bopd)
    • H1 2021 gross Opex per barrel of $2.4/bbl, below 2021 guidance range of $2.5-$2.9/bbl
  • Net Capex of $14.1 million (H1 2020: $38.5 million), with the restart of the 55,000 bopd expansion programme
  • Total dividends of $50 million paid to date, including an annual dividend of $25 million and a special dividend of $25 million
  • Robust cash balance of $177.4 million at 1 September 2021

Outlook 

  • Tightening 2021 average gross production guidance range from 40,000 - 44,000 bopd to 42,000 - 44,000 bopd
  • Maintaining 2021 gross Opex per barrel guidance of $2.5 to $2.9/bbl
  • The addition of SH-G increases 2021 net Capex guidance from $55-$65 million to $75-$85 million
  • With continued constructive engagement with the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") and the Company's partner Kalegran B.V. (a subsidiary of MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc) ("MOL"), Gulf Keystone is expecting to submit an FDP in Q4 2021 to the MNR for approval
    • The FDP includes the continued ramp-up of Jurassic oil production, appraisal of the Triassic reservoir and a Gas Management Plan
    • We continue to optimise the scope, schedule and cost of the FDP
  • Developing Gulf Keystone's sustainability strategy, with the primary environmental focus on more than halving CO2 per barrel by 2025 by eliminating flaring
  • In line with the Company's strategy of balancing investment in growth and returns to shareholders, Gulf Keystone is pleased to declare an interim dividend for 2021. The 2021 interim dividend is $50 million to be paid on 8 October 2021 based on a record date of 24 September 2021
  • Following payment of the interim dividend, the Company will have distributed $100 million of dividends in 2021
  • With continuing strong oil prices and cash flow generation, there may be opportunities to consider further distributions to shareholders and to optimise the capital structure

More here.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

The post GKP Shares Rally on Half-Year Results first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Gulf Keystone announces Special Dividend

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that its Board has approved the declaration of a special dividend of $25 million.

Jon Harris (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"Given continuing strong oil prices, improving macroeconomic conditions and our robust financial position, we are pleased to deliver on our commitment to consider further shareholder distributions and declare a $25 million special dividend, bringing total dividends for shareholder approval at the upcoming AGM to $50 million.

"We will continue to balance investment in growth and returns to shareholders as we develop and realise value from the Shaikan Field for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Following the previously announced resumption of the Company's annual dividend policy and declaration of a $25 million dividend, Gulf Keystone will be seeking shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") on 18 June 2021 to pay total dividends of $50 million, comprising the $25 million annual dividend and today's announced $25 million special dividend.

The annual dividend of $25 million is expected to be paid on 2 July 2021, based on a record date of 25 June 2021. The special dividend of $25 million is expected to be paid on 6 August 2021, based on a record date of 30 July 2021.

Both dividends will be payable in pounds sterling and converted from dollars at the spot rate prevailing on the relevant record dates.

As at 12 May 2021, the Company had a cash balance of $179 million.

(Source: GKP)

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KRG amends Oil Payment Terms; Share Prices Fall

By John Lee.

Shares in oil companies operating in Iraqi Kurdistan have been hit by a change in payment terms imposed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) and DNO this morning reported to the markets that they have received letters from the KRG proposing an amendment to payment terms due to the ongoing challenges in Iraq with the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with the March 2021 production invoice.

They said that since the dated Brent price has remained consistently well above $50 per barrel, the monthly repayment of outstanding arrears will now be calculated as 20 percent (compared to 50 percent previously) of the difference between the average monthly dated Brent price and $50 per barrel.

The KRG added that payment terms will be 60 days after the submission of invoices, and that the KRG will re-evaluate this payment model should markets see substantial volatility.

The oil companies have not agreed to these terms, and are seeking discussions with the KRG.

Shares in Genel Energy were down more than 12 percent before recovering slightly, while Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) fell more than 6 percent before recovering slightly. The Oslo Stock Exchange, on which DNO is traded, is closed for the Ascension Day holiday.

(Sources: GKP, Genel Energy, DNO)

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GKP claims “Strong Start to 2021”

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced its audited results for the full year ended 31 December 2020.

Jon Harris, Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"Against the backdrop of extraordinary global challenges in 2020, GKP acted decisively to successfully manage the impact of COVID-19 on our staff, contractors and production operations. We achieved all of our cost reduction targets and annual average production of 36,625 bopd, 11% higher than 2019.

"We have had a strong start to 2021. The updated independent Competent Person 's Report reaffirmed the significant upside production potential of the field with gross 2P reserves + 2C contingent resources of c.800 MMstb. Average gross production from Shaikan in 2021 to 29 March is 43,190 bopd, up c. 13% from the corresponding period in 2020. 

"Recently, we resumed the 55,000 bopd investment programme and today we are pleased to be announcing the reinstatement of at least a $25 million annual dividend, in keeping with our commitment to balance investment in growth and returns to shareholders."

Highlights to 31 December 2020 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Effectively managing the impact of COVID-19 on production operations and continue to prioritise the welfare of workforce and contractors whilst maintaining production momentum.
  • Continued strong safety performance, with no Lost Time Incident ("LTI") recorded for over 450 days.
  • 2020 a verage gross production of 36,625 bopd, exceeding revised guidance and the highest annual average production rate to date from the field.
  • Gross average production from the field in 2021 to date of 43,190 bopd, in line with guidance of 40,000 - 44,000 bopd for the year.
  • Updated Competent Person's Report ("CPR") published with c.800 MMstb gross 2P+2C reserves and resources volumes, which was in line with the 2016 CPR, after adjusting for production over the period, supporting GKP's view of the geological model.

Financial

  • GKP achieved its 2020 cost reduction targets, reducing Opex and G&A by more than 20% compared to 2019 and delivering gross unit Opex of $2.6/bbl, below the low end of the guidance range and down over 30% versus 2019.
  • Net Capex was $45.9 million net (FY 2019: $90 .0 million) within the $40-48 million revised guidance range despite the addition of low-cost, high impact investments during the fourth quarter that contributed to record 2020 annual average production.
  • Loss after tax of $47.3 million (FY 2019: $43.5 million profit) and reduced revenue of $108.4 million (FY 2019: $206.7 million) were driven by a decline in Brent oil prices that averaged $42/bbl in 2020 compared to $64/bbl in 2019.
  • Consistent payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") for the last eleven months.  Repayment mechanism in place to recover outstanding arrears of $73.3 million net for the period November 2019 - February 2020 with the first payment of $2.6 million net recently received.
  • Cash balance of $147.8 million at year end (FY 2019: $190.8 million). Cash balance of $161.0 million at 30 March 2021.
  • The Company has hedged c.60% of Q2 and Q3 2021 forecast net production at a floor price of $35/bbl and $40/bbl respectively, while retaining full upside exposure.

Outlook

  • Resumption of expansion activity with drilling operations expected to begin in Q3 resulting in an increase in gross production towards 55,000 bopd in Q1 2022.
  • Reinstatement of at least a $25 million annual dividend . A $25 million dividend is subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") scheduled for 18 June 2021 and is expected to be paid in full on 2 July 2021 based on a record date of 25 June 2021 .
  • With continuing strong oil prices, there may be opportunities to consider further distributions to shareholders this year.
  • Guidance for 2021 of average gross production of 40,000 to 44,000 bopd, net Capex of $55-$65 million and gross unit Opex of $2.5 to $2.9/bbl.

Full announcement here.

(Source: GKP)

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GKP Resumes Kurdistan Investment Programme

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announce the resumption of the Company's growth plans to ramp-up gross production towards 55,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd").

Jon Harris (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"After a year of successfully managing the impact of COVID-19 on our people and production operations at Shaikan, we are pleased to announce that we are resuming the 55,000 bopd expansion programme.

"Workstreams have already begun, and we are targeting to restart the drilling of SH-13 in Q3 2021, subject to managing the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the movement of people, services and equipment."

With support from its partner Kalegran B.V. (a subsidiary of MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc), Gulf Keystone has restarted 55,000 bopd expansion activity.

Considering the requirement to manage the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and to remobilise people, services and equipment, the Company currently expects drilling operations to begin in Q3 2021.

Remaining expansion activity includes completion of SH-13, which was suspended last year, drilling SH-I, the final well in the programme from the same pad, and installing electric submersible pumps in two existing wells.

Guidance for 2021 average gross production remains unchanged at 40,000 to 44,000 bopd, with the increase in gross production towards 55,000 bopd expected to occur in Q1 2022.  Remaining Capex required to deliver the 55,000 bopd programme is estimated to be $40-45 million net, resulting in total 2021 Capex of $55-65 million net.

(Source: GKP)

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GKP issues Update on Shaikan Field

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided a Competent Person's Report ("CPR") update on the Shaikan Field in which it has an 80% working interest.  

The CPR, an independent third-party evaluation of the Company's reserves and resources as at 31 December 2020, was prepared by ERC Equipoise ("ERCE").

Jon Harris, Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"The updated CPR demonstrates the continuing long-term strong performance of the Shaikan Field with gross 2P+2C reserves and resources volumes in line with the 2016 CPR, after adjusting for production over the period.   

"Prior Company estimates are reaffirmed with gross 2P+2C reserves and resources of c.800 MMstb at 31 December 2020, including over 500 MMstb of gross 2P reserves.  

"We have a deep understanding of the Shaikan Field that has produced over 80 MMstb to date and are pleased that the latest CPR matches our interpretation and understanding of the geological model, underlining the considerable untapped potential of the field."

"We had a strong start to the year in January, which saw GKP's highest monthly average daily gross production of 44,405 bopd.  As conditions continue to improve, we look forward to resuming the 55,000 bopd expansion project and shareholder distributions."  

Highlights

  • The CPR incorporates significant incremental information, including an updated development plan, new wells, production data and further technical analysis, since the last CPR was prepared by ERCE in 2016.
  • Gross 2P reserves + 2C contingent resources1 of 798 MMstb2 at 31 December 2020 are consistent with volumes as at 31 December 2019, adjusted principally for 2020 production.
  • Gross 1P reserves increased to 240 MMstb, up 33% after adjusting for 2020 production.
  • Gross 2P Jurassic reserves were revised down marginally (2%) to 505 MMstb, after adjusting for 2020 production. 
  • Gross 2P Triassic and Cretaceous reserves of 47 MMstb were reclassified to gross 2C contingent resources1, while the Field Development Plan is progressed with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Shaikan continues to deliver stable production with average gross production in January of 44,405 bopd, the highest monthly average to date from the field.
  • The Shaikan Field has significant future production potential with a gross 1P reserves life index3 of c.15 years and a gross 2P reserves life index3 of over 31 years, assuming January 2021 production levels.

Gross reserves and resources based on the Company's estimates at 31 December 2019 and the CPR at 31 December 2020 were:

31 December 2020

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Formation (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

Jurassic

240

505

80

585

Triassic

-

-

157

157

Cretaceous

-

-

56

56

Total - Gross

240

505

293

798

31 December 2019

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Formation (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

Jurassic

  175

  531

  80

  611

Triassic

  18

  44

  106

  150

Cretaceous

  1

  3

  53

  56

Total - Gross

  194

  578

  239

  817

The reconciliation of changes in reserves and resources between the Company's estimates at 31 December 2019 and the CPR at 31 Decemer 2020 is as follows:

 

 

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Gross (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

31 December 2019

  194

  578

  239

  817

Production

(13)

(13)

  - 

(13)

Reclassifications

(19)

(47)

  +47

  - 

Revisions

  +78

(13)

  +7

(6)

31 December 2020

  240

  505

  293

  798

GKP's 80% net WI4 share of reserves and resources at 31 December 2020 were: 

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Formation (80% WI) (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

Jurassic

  192

  404

  64

  468

Triassic

  - 

  - 

  125

  125

Cretaceous

  - 

  - 

  45

  45

Total - Net WI

192

404

  234

638

1.  Contingent resources volumes are classified as such because there is technical and commercial risk involved with their extraction. In particular, there may be a chance that accumulations containing contingent resources will not achieve commercial maturity. The 2C (best estimate) contingent resources presented are not risked for chance of development.

2.  Aggregated 2P+2C estimates should be used with caution as 2C contingent resources are commercially less mature than the 2P reserves.

3.  Reserves life index is calculated as gross 1P reserves or gross 2P reserves, as appropriate, divided by annualised January 2021 gross production.

4.  Net working interest reserves and resources do not represent the net entitlement resources under the terms of the PSC.

 (Source: GKP)

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