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 Shares Rise following Update

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) closed the day up more than 5 percent on Wednesday, after the Kurdistan-focused oil producer provided an operational and corporate update to the markets.

Jón Ferrier, Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"I am pleased to report that throughout 2020, Gulf Keystone successfully managed the challenging operating environment delivering record annual average production of over 36,600 bopd and in December, record monthly average production of over 43,000 bopd.

"Planned debottlenecking works have increased PF-1 production capacity to more than 30,000 bopd and the Company expects to deliver average gross production in 2021 of 40,000 to 44,000 bopd. We look forward to updating guidance once conditions allow resumption of the 55,000 bopd expansion.

"I would like to thank the team at GKP for their dedication and professionalism in what has been a challenging year for the E&P sector. I look forward to working closely with my successor, Jon Harris, to effect a smooth handover of responsibilities and I am confident of the continuing success of the Company."

Operational

  • GKP's continued strong focus on safety resulted in no Lost Time Incidents during 2020.
  • The Company has effectively managed to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our staff and contractors and ongoing production operations.
  • In 2020, average gross production at Shaikan was 36,625 bopd, exceeding the top end of the guidance range and the highest annual average production rate to date from the field.
  • The previously announced PF-1 plant debottlenecking work has delivered production capacity in excess of 30,000 bopd.
  • As a result, Shaikan Field production has increased and is currently c.44,000 bopd.

Financial

  • Total cash received from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") during 2020 for payments of crude oil sales was $129 million ($101 million net).
  • As a result of increased production and the recent improvement in the oil price, the December 2020 crude oil sales invoice submitted to the KRG was $18.0 million ($14.1 million net), up 65% from the previous month.
  • As at 12 January 2021, the Company had a cash balance of $147 million.

Corporate

  • Jon Harris to join as Chief Executive Officer and Board member on 18 January 2021.

Outlook

  • Guidance for 2021 is: 40,000 to 44,000 bopd average gross production, $15 to $20 million net Capex and $2.5 to $2.9/bbl Opex.
  • Guidance will be updated once conditions allow well workovers and/or the restart of the drilling programme to achieve 55,000 bopd.
  • Following receipt of the previously announced proposal to repay the arrears from the outstanding November 2019 to February 2020 invoices, totalling $73.3 million (net), the Company continues to engage with the KRG and will provide an update in due course.
  • The Company remains committed to maintaining its strong financial position and, as conditions continue to improve, will look to return to a balance of growth focussed field development investments and shareholder distributions.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

The post GKP Shares Rise following Update first appeared on Iraq Business News.

GKP appoints New CEO

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced the appointment of Jon Harris as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr Harris has over 30 years' experience in the oil and gas industry and joins GKP from SASOL Limited, an integrated energy and chemicals company based in South Africa where he was Executive Vice President, Upstream.

Prior to this, he spent 25 years with BG Group in various international roles, including Executive Vice President Technical and General Manager Production Operations, as well as senior management assignments in the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt.

Mr Harris received a Master of Engineering in Fuel and Energy (with distinction) from the University of Leeds, UK.

Mr Harris will join the Board of GKP and assume the CEO role on 18 January 2021.  He  will have a period of handover with Jón Ferrier who, as previously announced, will retire on 31 January 2021.

Jaap Huijskes, Chairman of the Company, said:

"Following a thorough global search process, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Harris as CEO.  Jon is an experienced executive who brings a wealth of highly relevant project delivery, asset management, production operations and technical experience within the sector to the management team and to the Board.  We look forward to him joining GKP and to his contributions. 

"On behalf of the Company, I would like to again thank Jón Ferrier for his outstanding commitment and contributions since joining Gulf Keystone in 2015. Under his leadership, GKP was successfully restructured and transformed, as evidenced by today's strong operational performance, low-cost structure, robust financial position and pathway to further production growth and value creation.  We wish him the very best of success for the future."

(Source: GKP)

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GKP Shares Rally following Update

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum, have rallied more than 20 percent after the company issued an operational and corporate update on Tuesday:

Jón Ferrier, Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We have made significant operational strides in recent months, ensuring we remain on-track to achieve our revised targets for the year. I am pleased to update stakeholders on further success in executing the previously reported, low-cost, high-impact investments that have so far increased gross production to 42,000 bopd, in excess of the initially targeted increase of 5,000 bopd.

"The Shaikan Field recently achieved an important milestone of cumulative production of 80 million stock tank barrels. This is a clear testament to not only the quality of the asset, from which there remains significant untapped potential, but also the professionalism and dedication of the team. We look forward to updating the market on further progress early in 2021."

Operational

  • Following on from the successful work over of the SH-12 well, the Company has progressed the previously announced low-cost, high-impact investments to further increase field production.
  • The SH-9 well, on which activity was suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19, has now been successfully tied-in to PF-1 and is on production. PF-1 is now operating at its current maximum processing capacity of c.27,500 bopd. Debottlenecking activities at PF-1 remain on-track to further increase production capacity to over 30,000 bopd during Q1 2021.
  • Gross Shaikan production is currently at c.42,000 bopd, c.20% above the November 2020 average rate.
  • Average gross production for the year is expected to be at, or slightly above, 36,000 bopd, the top end of the guidance range.

Financial

  • The Company remains on track to achieve targeted G&A and Opex savings of at least 20% compared to 2019 and 30% on a run-rate basis.
  • Net capex for 2020 is expected to be at or slightly exceed the top end of the guidance range of $48 million, following the $3 million investment in high-impact projects.
  • The Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") has maintained regular payments for eight months, including the recent October receipt.
  • The Company has extended its hedging programme, establishing a H1 2021 floor price of $35/bbl on c.60% of production, based on current production levels.
  • As at 14 December 2020, the Company had a cash balance of $142 million.

Outlook

  • With completion of the debottlenecking of PF-1, GKP is expected to deliver a further increase in production in Q1 2021.
  • In line with the KRG's commitment to review the outstanding November 2019 to February 2020 invoices totalling $73.3m (net) when oil prices reached $50/bbl, we are pleased to confirm receipt of a proposal to repay the arrears. We look forward to further engaging with the KRG on this matter and will provide an update in due course.
  • GKP is well positioned to restart its drilling programme to achieve 55,000 bopd when circumstances permit.
  • The Company remains committed to maintaining its strong financial position and aims to return to a balance of production growth and shareholder distributions, as conditions continue to improve.
  • The search process to identify a successor for CEO, Jón Ferrier, is ongoing.

AGM Update

In accordance with the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code, the Company can confirm that following the Annual General Meeting held on 19 June 2020, where three of the proposed Resolutions did not attain the support of 80% of the votes, members of the Board and executive management team have consulted with several of the Company's large shareholders. Mr Garrett Soden has been reappointed to the Board of GKP as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director representing funds managed by Lansdowne Partners Austria, GKP's largest shareholder. The Company continues to actively engage with its shareholders.

(Source: GKP)

The post GKP Shares Rally following Update first appeared on Iraq Business News.

GKP Shares Rise as Workover Completed

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were trading up 5 percent on Monday morning as the company announced that the planned workover on the SH-12 well has been completed safely.

Jón Ferrier (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We continue to successfully manage the challenging macro backdrop and make operational progress. I am pleased to report the successful planned workover of the SH-12 well, which is currently producing at over 5,000 bopd, driving an approximately 15% increase in production from the field.

"As announced in our half-year results, the SH-12 workover was one of a series of opportunities identified which in aggregate were expected to increase gross production by c.5,000 bopd. With the very successful SH-12 workover result and work to bring SH-9 online and the debottlenecking of PF-1 proceeding as planned, we now expect to exceed our original incremental production expectation.

"We are also pleased to confirm that we expect average production from the Shaikan Field this year to be at the top end of our guidance range for 2020. I look forward to updating all our stakeholders in December 2020 on the wider progress we have made as a business."

Initial production from SH-12 was from the Lower Jurassic Butmah reservoir providing valuable information for future development planning. The workover involved moving up hole, perforating and producing from the main SAM reservoir.

SH-12 returned to production on 15 November 2020 and the well is currently flowing at a stable rate of over 5,000 bopd. The additional production flows to the PF-2 production facility, where there is spare production capacity. The workover design allowed the original Electronic Submersible Pump ("ESP") completion to remain in place during the operation and the ESP is now back-in service. The operation came in ahead of schedule and on budget.

The Company is pleased to confirm that average 2020 gross production is expected to be at the upper end of the previously disclosed guidance range of 35,000 - 36,000 bopd, with the field currently producing at c.39,000 bopd.

The Company intends to publish an Operational & Corporate Update in December 2020.

(Sources: GKP, LSE)

The post GKP Shares Rise as Workover Completed first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Ferrier Steps Down as CEO of GKP

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that Jón Ferrier (pictured), Chief Executive Officer, has informed the Board of his intention to retire from the Company upon appointment of a successor and after a period of handover.

The Company is now commencing a formal, externally facilitated, search process and will provide an update as and when appropriate.

Jaap Huijskes, Chairman of the Company, said:

"Jón Ferrier took the helm five years ago, immediately leading the Company through its financial restructuring and breathing new life into GKP as an attractive investment proposition.  He has brought us the experience he gained over a long and distinguished career, resulting in GKP meeting the highest standards across all aspects of its business. 

"Today, Gulf Keystone is a highly respected and successful E&P Company, for which Jón deserves considerable credit.  On behalf of the Board and everyone within the Company I would like to thank Jón for his leadership and resolute commitment over the past five years.  We will be sad to see him step down when a successor is found and wish him all the best for his retirement."   

(Source: GKP)

GKP to Cut Workforce by 40%

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided an operational and corporate update in advance of Friday's Annual General Meeting:

Jón Ferrier, Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and macroeconomic conditions, we took decisive actions to preserve liquidity and safeguard the long-term health of the business. We are now well placed to weather the current environment and are able to move quickly back to growth at the right time. 

"Our cost reduction initiatives have been thorough, and I am grateful to our staff and contractors for their commitment and support.  Whilst uncertainty around the timing of the end of the crisis persists, the partial oil price recovery gives us some grounds for optimism about the future and our return to delivering the significant untapped value in Shaikan."

Operational

  • Maintaining strong focus on safety with zero LTIs recorded in 2020.
  • In order to protect all personnel, the Company continues to actively manage its working practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic observing all of the appropriate protection measures.
  • Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, production operations continue at c.36,000 bopd (gross). Average gross production for the year to date is 37,232 bopd.
  • DQE's Rig 40 has been stacked on site at zero cost, which will aid the timely resumption of drilling activities, when appropriate.
  • During this period of reduced activity, the Company continues to optimise its plans for a quick and effective restart of the 55,000 bopd expansion project.

Financial

  • As a result of a continued rationalisation of the organisation, expenditures, and contract renegotiations, the Company remains on track to achieve its previously announced target of Opex and G&A savings in excess of 20% in 2020 compared to 2019. On a run-rate basis, we are targeting to achieve savings of c.30%.
    • The Company is introducing 2020 guidance for Opex of $2.7 to $3.1 per barrel (vs $3.9 per barrel in 2019).
    • The workforce is in the process of being reduced by c.40%, including over 60% of expatriates, due to the reduction in the work programme.
  • Capex for 2020 remains in the range $40 - $48 million (net), a 50% reduction compared to 2019, of which $30 million (net) had been spent by the end of April 2020.
  • Cash balance of $144 million as at 17 June 2020.
  • Payments by the Kurdistan Regional Government to GKP are in line with the peer group, with invoices from March 2020 onwards being settled the following month. There is an ongoing dialogue relating to the payment of invoices for November 2019 to February 2020, aggregating $73 million (net).

Corporate

  • Garrett Soden is to be welcomed back to the Board of GKP as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director representing funds managed by Lansdowne Partners Austria.
  • Mr Soden will be formally appointed following completion of the appointment process and will bring valuable financial and industry experience.  Mr Soden was a Non-Executive Director between 2016 and 2019 and he has undertaken to conform to UK corporate governance standards in respect of external appointments.

Outlook

  • With the Company's ongoing prudent approach to managing its financial position and the decisive measures taken to reduce its cost structure to preserve liquidity, GKP remains financially resilient to manage through the current macro environment.
  • Despite a partial recovery in oil price, the Company closely monitors market dynamics and will continue to take the appropriate actions to preserve value in Shaikan.
  • GKP looks forward to resuming investment and shareholder distributions when conditions allow.

(Source: GKP)

GKP Directors Buy Shares

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that it was informed on 30th April 2020 of the following transactions by persons discharging managerial responsibilities and persons closely associated with them.

Mr Ian Weatherdon (pictured), Chief Financial Officer, purchased 50,112 common shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited on 30 April 2020 at a price of 79.8p per share. In total Mr Weatherdon owns 50,112 common shares in the Company representing 0.024% of the issued share capital.

Mr Gabriel Papineau-Legris, Chief Commercial Officer, purchased 20,000 common shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited on 30 April 2020 at an average price of 84.225p per share. In total Mr Papineau-Legris owns 30,000 common shares in the Company representing 0.014% of the issued share capital.

(Source: GKP)

GKP Shares up 10% on Results

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were up around 10 percent on Thursday morning, following the company's announcement of its results for the year ended 31 December 2019.

Jón Ferrier (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"2019 saw a step change in activity at Shaikan; we delivered production and controlled expenditures in line with guidance, returned just under $100 million to our shareholders, and maintained a strong balance sheet with cash of $164 million at 22 April 2020. 

"The current oil price and macro-economic uncertainty continues to have profound, far-reaching effects. We have taken concrete steps to protect value and assure the viability and financial strength of our business, both for today and the longer-term. As previously announced, we have suspended guidance and, while we were on-track to achieve 55,000 bopd in Q3 2020, we have stopped further expansion activity and are currently demobilising the team until circumstances improve. While we have secured ongoing production operations, we continue to closely monitor market dynamics and will take appropriate further actions to preserve value.

"We continue to focus on strict financial discipline and maintaining our strong balance sheet.  GKP remains underpinned by Shaikan, which continues to perform in line with expectations, and we look forward to resuming expansion activity and delivering the underlying value of the field for all stakeholders upon resolution of the outstanding payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") and an improvement in economic conditions."

 Highlights to 31 December 2019 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Robust safety performance during a period of increased operational activity.
  • GKP remains committed to the welfare of all personnel and the safety of our operations. To limit the risk and transmission of COVID-19, only location essential personnel are working at GKP sites and offices.  
  • Average gross production in 2019 of 32,883 bopd, in line with original guidance.
  • Gross production from the field in 2020 to date of c.38,000 bopd.
  • As a result of COVID-19, the focus on cost control and overdue payments from the KRG, operations have been reduced to focus on minimum safety critical activities required for production.
  • Once macro conditions improve, including resolution of outstanding payments from the KRG, the Company will restart expansion activity to increase production to 55,000 bopd.

Financial

  • In 2019, the Company achieved its production, capital expenditures, operating costs and G&A costs guidance.
  • Profit after tax of $43.5 million (FY 2018: $79.9 million) and revenue of $206.7 million (FY 2018: $250.6 million) were down, as Brent oil prices averaged $64 per barrel in 2019 compared to $71 per barrel in 2018.
  • Net capital investment in Shaikan of $90.0 million (FY 2018: $35.4 million).
  • Maiden dividend and share buyback programmes returned $79 million in 2019. Subsequent completion of the share buyback programme brought total returns to $99 million.
  • Cash balance of $190.8 million at year end (2018: $295.6 million).

Outlook

  • The Company is actively focused on maintaining a robust financial position and is targeting a major reduction of costs across the business, while maintaining a strong focus on safety and long-term asset reliability. These actions are being taken in response to the current oil price environment and in anticipation of a protracted recovery:
    • net Capex for 2020 include expenditures incurred to date and remaining firm commitments andare expected to be $40-$48 million ($50-$60 million gross), a c.50% reduction compared to 2019;
    • targeted Opex and G&A savings of at least 20%; and
    • in process of reducing expatriate workforce by c.60%.
  • The KRG has committed to paying for monthly production by the 15th day of each following month starting with March 2020, for which payment was recently received.  Dialogue with the KRG is continuing relating to payment of outstanding invoices for November 2019 to February 2020 aggregating $93.7 million gross ($73.3 million net to GKP).
  • Guidance for 2020 suspended until the outlook becomes clearer.
  • Resumption of distributions is dependent on an improvement in macro-economic conditions, resolution of outstanding payments from the KRG and a clear operational outlook.
  • With a strong balance sheet, limited capital commitments and an existing low-cost production base, GKP is well placed to navigate through these challenging conditions and, if necessary, to withstand a lower oil price throughout 2020 and 2021.

The Company's 2019 Full Year Results presentation is available on the investor relations section of the website: https://www.gulfkeystone.com/

(Source: GKP)

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)