KRG PM Barzani calls for Constitutional Solution

Prime Minister Barzani chairs cabinet meeting, calls for constitutional solution to problems with Baghdad

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting in Erbil on Wednesday to discuss economic conditions in the Kurdistan Region and outstanding problems with the federal government.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Prime Minister wished success to the new Iraqi cabinet, and stressed the need for a constitutional solution to ongoing issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

The cabinet discussed proposed draft bills covering the selling and renting of public properties, investment, and patients' rights. Relevant departments in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were assigned to prepare final drafts for parliament.

Prime Minister Barzani said the Kurdistan Region is going through difficult economic times due to falling oil prices and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and must make adjustments due to limited financial resources.

He called for a review of the economy in light of the regional financial downturn, and underlined the importance of continuing to implement the Reform Law (2020).

The Prime Minister said the KRG will do its best to pay public sector salaries, and reiterated his commitment to continue providing public services and strengthening the region's infrastructure.

During the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Talabani provided an update on recent discussions with federal authorities on budgetary issues and oil exports. He said dialogue with Baghdad will continue to reach a deal on outstanding problems.

(Source: KRG)

Genel Energy “Robust Financial Position”

Genel Energy has issued the following trading and operations update ahead of the Company's Annual General Meeting ('AGM'), which is being held today.

The information contained herein has not been audited and may be subject to further review.

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

"Despite the impact of COVID-19 creating a challenging environment for our industry, Genel's resilient business model and robust financial position, with over $100 million in net cash and an asset cashflow breakeven of $30/bbl, leaves us well placed to withstand the consequences of the pandemic as we continue to deliver our strategy.

"We have cut our cloth appropriately against this backdrop and halved our capital expenditure for 2020, protecting our balance sheet while still progressing Sarta, and positioning us to take advantage of growth opportunities as the landscape improves."

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

  • $98 million of cash proceeds received in the first four months of 2020
  • Cash of $404 million at 30 April 2020 ($391 million at 31 December 2019)
  • Net cash of $106 million at 30 April 2020 ($93 million at 31 December 2019)
  • Capital expenditure of $45 million in the first four months of 2020, with point forward expenditure cut significantly due to the impact of COVID-19
  • Final dividend of 10¢ per share (2019: 10¢ per share), a distribution of c.$27.8 million, to be paid to shareholders on the register on 29 May 2020, pending approval at today's AGM

OPERATING PERFORMANCE

  • Production in the first quarter of 2020 averaged 34,170 bopd, in line with January's guidance, guidance that has been removed following the decision to reduce investment to a level appropriate for the external environment
  • As well as impacting the oil price and hence investment plans for 2020, COVID-19 has provided operational challenges in relation to the movement of people and equipment. This has been less of a challenge for producing fields than pre-production assets, and the reduced work plan put in place in Q2 is progressing in line with expectations
  • Production by asset was as follows:
(bopd) Gross production

Q1 2020

Net production

Q1 2020

Tawke 61,490 15,370
Peshkabir 53,710 13,430
Taq Taq 12,200 5,370
Total 127,400 34,170

PRODUCTION ASSETS

  • Tawke PSC (25% working interest)
    • Production at the Tawke PSC averaged 115,200 bopd in the first quarter of 2020, with the Tawke field producing 61,490 bopd, and Peshkabir 53,710 bopd
    • Five development wells have been completed on the licence. Three drilling rigs were released as the 2020 activity plan was amended to reflect the external environment, while a workover rig continues to service production wells
    • A drilling rig has been stacked at each field and can be quickly mobilised when conditions warrant
  • Taq Taq PSC (44% working interest and joint operator)
    • Taq Taq gross field production averaged 12,200 bopd in the first quarter of 2020
    • The latest well on the northern flank of the field, TT-35, spud on 6 January, and completed in April. The well is currently adding c.600 bopd to production. This completed the planned drilling programme with the Sakson-605 rig, which has now been released
    • Activity at TaqTaq is focused onmaximisingcash generation. Appropriate for the external environment, it is not expected that there will be any further drilling activity in 2020

PRE-PRODUCTION ASSETS

  • Sarta (30% working interest)
    • Civil construction work at the Sarta field is nearing completion, with the facility build ongoing
    • Due to delays in the movement of people and equipment caused by the impact of COVID-19, first oil is now expected in Q4 2020, rather than Q3
    • Phase 1A represents a low-cost pilot development of the Mus-Adaiyah reservoirs, designed to recover 2P gross reserves estimated by Genel at 34 MMbbls
  • Qara Dagh (40% working interest and operator)
    • The QD-2 well was on track to spud in Q2 2020 prior to COVID-19 impacting supply chains and the movement of people in to the KRI
    • Due to ongoing uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Genel notified the KRG of the occurrence of a force majeure event preventing the Company from being able to perform its contractual obligations as scheduled
    • Work continues to take place to ensure that Genel is in the best possible position to start to drill the QD-2 well once external conditions improve and the force majeure event ceases
  • Bina Bawi (100% working interest and operator)
    • Genel received documentation in mid-April from the KRG following the commercial understanding reached in September 2019
    • Negotiations regarding this documentation are ongoing, as Genel continues to seek a viable and balanced commercial way forward for the development of Bina Bawi's gas and oil resources
  • Somaliland - SL10B13 block (100% working interest and operator)
    • A farm-out process relating to this highly prospective block began in Q4 2019, and a number of companies continue to assess the opportunity
  • Morocco - Sidi Moussa block (75% working interest and operator)
    • The farm-out campaign is set to begin in Q3 2020, aimed at bringing a partner onto the licence prior to considering further commitments

ESG

  • Zero lost time incidents and zero losses of primary containment in 2020 to date at Genel and TTOPCO operations
    • There has not been an LTI since 2015, with almost 12 million hours worked since the last incident
  • The Peshkabir-to-Tawke gas capture, transport and reinjection project to effectively end CO2 emissions at Peshkabir and boost oil recovery at Tawke is completed and undergoing commissioning
  • Multiple projects are ongoing to support local communities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with activities in the Qara Dagh region continuing despite the force majeure event
  • Genel will issue a sustainability report in September 2020

OUTLOOK

  • Payments from the KRG are ongoing, with an updated payment mechanism put in place under which the KRG has committed to settling monthly sales invoices by the fifteenth day of the following month, as announced on 17 April 2020
    • $11.1 million received in April for oil sales during March 2020
  • 2020 capital expenditure reduced by c.50% from the top end of the original guidance range of $160-200 million and now expected to be just over $100 million, of which around half will be spent on the Tawke and Taq Taq PSCs, c.$30 million on Sarta, and c.$10 million on Qara Dagh
    • Point forward expenditure expected to be c.$60 million in 2020
  • Operating costs per barrel expected to be $3/bbl in 2020
  • Producing asset cashflow breakeven in 2020 at an oil price of less than $30/bbl, taking into account the 2020 capital expenditure programme and the updated payment mechanism
  • Opex: reduction of 10% compared to original guidance of c.$40 million
  • G&A: unchanged at c.$15 million (a reduction of c.20% from 2019)
  • Genel continues to analyse opportunities to repurchase bonds at a value-accretive price
  • The Company continues to actively pursue growth and is analysing opportunities to make value-accretive additions to the portfolio that are consistent with Genel's strategy

(Source: Genel Energy)

Iraq to Cut Oil Output, but by Less than OPEC+ Target

By John Lee.

Iraq is reportedly cutting its oil output by around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), a third less than required under an OPEC+ supply pact.

Iraqi oil officials told Reuters that the government failed to persuade the international oil companies (IOCs) to agree to bigger reductions.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

Iraq Loses $11bn in 4 Months as Oil Prices Plunge

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq has incurred around $11 billion in losses in four months due to the global drop in oil prices, the State Organisation for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) announced yesterday.

"Over the first four months of 2020, Iraq sold approximately 409,096,972 barrels of crude oil at an average price of nearly $38 per barrel, achieving around $15.4 million in revenue," SOMO said in a statement.

The state-run organisation added that the country sold 423,284,489 barrels during the same period of 2019 at an average price of $62 per barrel. "Iraq achieved a total of $26.2 million in oil revenues in the first four months of 2019," the organisation added.

Reuters recently reported that oil prices had fallen yesterday as investors were worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections. But it added that the new output cuts from Saudi Arabia had tempered worries about oversupply and limited price losses.

Global oil demand has slumped by about 30 per cent as the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed movement across the world, leading to growing inventories globally.

While crude futures have fallen more than 55 per cent this year because of the virus, prices have risen over the past two weeks, supported by a modest rebound in demand as some travel restrictions - which were imposed by governments to curb the spread of the virus - were eased.

US Welcomes New Iraq Govt; Extends Iran Sanctions Waiver

By John Lee.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured) has welcomed the formation of a new government in Iraq following months of instability.

In a phone call with the new Prime Minister, Mustafa Kadhemi, he said that the US would not enforce sanctions on Iraq buying electricity from Iran for 120 days "as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success".

The full statement via Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said:‎

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Secretary Pompeo welcomed Prime Minister Kadhimi's new government, which was confirmed by the Council of Representatives.

"They discussed the urgent hard work ahead for the Iraqi government, implementing reforms, addressing COVID-19, and fighting corruption. In support of the new government the United States will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success.

"The Secretary and the Prime Minister also discussed the upcoming U.S.-Iraq strategic dialogue and how they look forward to working together to provide the Iraqi people the prosperity and security they deserve."

(Source: US State Dept)

Recon Wins Contract at Garraf Oilfield

China's Recon Technology has announced that it has signed a $2.8-million engineering and construction service subcontract with Grand Energy Development Limited on a heavy oil transportation system project (the "Project") at the Garraf oilfield in Iraq for the services that Recon has provided.

Pursuant to the subcontract, Recon shall carry out all the engineering design services, provide the technical support to the procurement, construction, commissioning activities and provide the training services of the heavy oil transportation system project.

Garraf oilfield is located in the province of Thi Qar, Iraq, approximately 5km north-west of Al-Refaei city and 85km north of Nasiriya city. The oilfield is 17.5km long and 5.5km wide. It is estimated to hold 1.3 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Based on the Final Development Plan approved by the Government of Iraq in 2018, the oilfield is undergoing further development in stages to achieve crude oil production of 230,000 barrels per day by the end of 2020.

As part of the Project, the heavy oil pipeline with a total intended capacity of 275,000 barrels per day will be built to support the Garraf production target. By providing the services under the Project, Recon has played an important role in building the heavy oil pipeline.

Shenping Yin, co-founder and CEO of Recon said:

"With advanced technique and wide experiences in the automation and digitalization of oil and gas industry, Recon has a relatively competitive advantage in the engineering design and construction businesses in oilfield segment.

"With the successful completion of the project, we expect to construct more oilfield projects and hope to help more oilfields reduce costs and maintain yields at a healthy level in the near future."

Recon Technology, Ltd. (RCON) is China's first non-state-owned oil and gas field service company listed on NASDAQ.

(Source: Recon)

DNO Completes Baeshiqa Testing, Prepares to Spud Next Well

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has announced completion of testing and appraisal of the Baeshiqa-2 exploration well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the imminent spud of an exploration well on a separate prospect, Zartik, located 15 kilometers southeast on the same license.

The testing has proven oil and gas in three separate Triassic aged reservoirs. Evaluation of the test results will determine next steps towards further appraisal and assessment of commerciality.

As previously reported, in November 2019 DNO issued a notice of discovery to the government that hydrocarbons had been flowed to surface from the upper part of Triassic Kurra Chine B reservoir during first phase of testing. The reservoir produced between 900 and 3,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd) with specific gravity ranging between 40o and 52o API and sour gas between 8.5 to 15 million standard cubic feet per day (MMcfd).

Following a workover and acid stimulation, testing resumed in March 2020 in three other separate Triassic aged reservoirs with each flowing variable rates of light oil and sour gas, too.

During the second phase of testing, the lower Kurra Chine B reservoir produced between 600 to 3,500 bopd with specific gravity ranging between 47o and 55o API and sour gas between 4 to18 MMcfd. The test demonstrated that the upper and lower Kurra Chine B reservoirs are in communication, proving a hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir interval of around 150 meters.

The Kurra Chine A reservoir flowed between 950 to 3,100 bopd of 30o to 34o API and sour gas ranging from 1.8 to 3.6 MMcfd from a hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir interval of 70 meters.

The Kurra Chine C reservoir was the deepest encountered in the well covering only 34 meters of what is expected to be a thicker reservoir of around 200 meters. The drilled interval has been exposed to significant fracture damage due to the pumping of lost circulation material. The reservoir produced between 200 to 1,200 bopd of 52o API gravity and sour gas between 3.8 to 6 MMcfd.

Shallower Jurassic aged reservoirs were encountered during drilling and tested. However, the tested zones were not acid stimulated, and the results are inconclusive. The well was spud in February 2019 and drilled to a total depth of 3,204 meters (2,549 meters TVDSS), encountering almost a kilometer of fractured carbonates with poor to good oil shows. Baeshiqa-2 well was drilled safely, below budget and with all exploration objectives achieved.

The Zartik-1 well is anticipated to spud on 15 May 2020. Site construction was completed ten days ago on time and below budget.

DNO acquired a 32 percent interest and operatorship of the Baeshiqa license in 2017. Partners include ExxonMobil with 32 percent, Turkish Energy Company (TEC) with 16 percent and the Kurdistan Regional Government with 20 percent.

(Source: DNO)

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KRG nets $4.5bn Oil Revenues for 2019

The KRG's Regional Council of Oil and Gas Affairs has published a report containing verified statistics covering the Kurdistan Region's oil exports, consumption and revenues for 2019.

The report, available in Kurdish, English and Arabic, provides a quarterly analysis of oil export information and average prices, together with a consolidated annual overview.

The data verification was performed by Deloitte.

The KRG regularly assesses what additional disclosures would enhance the transparency of its oil and gas sector. Accordingly, with the release of the 2019 report, the KRG is now providing information on the prepayment balances it owes to oil traders.

The Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs acknowledges the positive feedback received so far from domestic and international stakeholders. The council reiterates its commitment to the people of Kurdistan that Deloitte will continue to independently review the region's oil and gas sector.

A frequently asked questions handbook (also available in Kurdish, English and Arabic) will help readers to understand the report's contents.

Please click here to download the full report.

(Source: KRG)

Negotiations Continue on Bina Bawi Oilfield

By John Lee.

Shares in Genel Energy plc were trading lower in Friday after the company said negotiations were continuing regarding the Bina Bawi field in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In a statement, the company said:

"Extensive documentation was received in mid-April from the Kurdistan Regional Government ('KRG') following the commercial understanding reached in September 2019. The documentation, which requires further negotiation, includes a new draft Production Sharing Contract ('PSC') that seeks to separate the Jurassic oil development from the deeper Triassic natural gas development, with oil being developed on standard terms for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

"Genel has been informed by the KRG that while negotiations are ongoing with respect to these documents it will not exercise the notice of an intention to terminate the Bina Bawi PSC. Genel continues to seek a viable and balanced commercial way forward for the development of Bina Bawi's gas and oil resources, and is constructively engaging with the KRG to accelerate progress.

"Genel continues to minimise spending on Bina Bawi until further tangible progress is made during these negotiations."

(Source: Genel Energy)