DNO Production Increases

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced a 29 percent year-on-year increase in its net Company Working Interest (CWI) production in 2019 to 104,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) on the back of acquisitions and a record drilling campaign.

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, production from the two fields in the Tawke license climbed from 113,100 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2018 (79,700 bopd CWI) to 124,000 bopd in 2019 (87,400 bopd CWI). Production of 122,800 bopd in the fourth quarter of 2019 was up 3,000 bopd from the previous quarter. The Company is operator of the Tawke license with a 75 percent interest.

At Tawke, 2019 production stood at 68,800 bopd, with wells drilled last year contributing 13 percent of field production at yearend. At Peshkabir, 2019 production stood at 55,200 bopd, with wells drilled in 2019 contributing 40 percent of field production at yearend.

Even though Tawke is now a mature field, we are continuously finding ways to slow its decline while teasing additional production from the newer Peshkabir field, all the while probing for other opportunities in Kurdistan,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani.

Elsewhere in Kurdistan, DNO reported a discovery in the Baeshiqa-2 exploration well last November after flowing variable rates of light oil and sour gas to surface from the upper part of Triassic Kurra Chine B reservoir following acid stimulation. Further testing of this and several other Jurassic and Triassic zones will determine the next steps towards appraisal and assessment of commerciality. DNO holds a 32 percent interest and operatorship of the Baeshiqa license.

Meanwhile, the Peshkabir-to-Tawke gas injection project designed to increase oil recovery rates at Tawke while eliminating flaring at Peshkabir will be completed in March 2020. Once completed, CO2 emissions from DNO’s operated fields will average 7 kilograms per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) produced, compared to an average of 9 kilograms per boe on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and a global average of 18 kilograms per boe.

DNO retained a strong cash balance of USD 480 million at yearend 2019 plus USD 144 million in marketable securities. Following a delay in export payments last month from the Kurdistan Regional Government to oil operators, DNO has since yearend received payment for its August oil sales totaling USD 52 million net to the Company.

(Source: DNO)

New Head of Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD)

By John Lee.

A former head of Iraq’s state-run Missan Oil Company (MOC) has reportedly been appointed to run the Ministry of Oil’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD).

According to Reuters, Ali Maarij, who ran the MOC until becoming a member of parliament in 2014, will take over from Abul Mahdi al-Ameedi, who reached retirement age late last year.

The PCLD oversees oil contracts and negotiates energy deals with international companies.

(Source: Reuters)

New Well at Taq Taq is Close to Production

Genel Energy has announce an update on activity at the Taq Taq field (Genel 44% working interest), as testing of the TT-34 well is nearing completion.

The well has produced from all zones tested, at a maximum combined flow rate of over 3,900 bopd with 28/64″ choke. With the inclusion of test production, gross production from the Taq Taq field is currently c.13,650 bopd.

Individual zone testing is now underway, which will determine the long-term production strategy. Genel expects the well to be placed on production around the middle of January with an initial flow rate of 1,500-2,000 bopd.

The rig has moved to drill the TT-35 well, also on the northern flank of the field, which is now preparing to spud.

(Source: Genel)

Chevron pulls US staff from Kurdistan

By John Lee.

Chevron has reportedly removed all of its American oil workers from Iraqi Kurdistan as a security precaution, following the killing of Iranian Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The company currently has interests in the Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks.

(Sources: Reuters, CNN)

Iraq seeks bids for Iraq-Jordan Oil Pipeline

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited bids fto build the Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline.

The first phase will be built on the Iraqi side, stretching 700 km from Rumaila to Haditha. This will have a capacity of 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd). This will be built on an engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPCF) contract model.

The second phase, on the Jordanian side, will run 900 km from Haditha to the port of Aqaba. This section will be built on a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model.

Bids will be accepted from qualified companies up to the end of May, with a decision to be made by the end of 2020.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Oil Exports Slightly Down in December

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for November of 106,265,307 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.428 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 3.500 million bpd exported in November.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 103,090,550 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,827,050 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 347,707 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.700 billion at an average price of $63.051 per barrel.

November export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Production Resumes at Nassiriyah Oil Field

By John Lee.

Iraq has resumed production at the Nassiriyah oil field on Monday, a day after protesters forced it to halt operations.

Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said that the roads had previously become impassable for workers to get to the field, but employees returned to work after authorities cleared away protesters.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Iraq EITI issues latest Annual Report

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Issues its latest Annual Report

Iraq Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (IEITI) issued a few days ago its latest annual report, it is about 2017 and it is the ninth since formation of IEITI. Ernst & Young (EY) was contracted to prepare the report; EY prepared IEITI annual reports for 2011, 2012 and 2016.

The report was issued as per the deadline set by EITI, and was issued a few months after EITI reinstates Iraq status as a compliant country; the suspension took effect in October 2017. Hence and as expected, the report was aimed at addressing issues that led to the suspension and also testifies the concerted efforts by Iraqi authorities, particularly IEITI to attaining that objective.

The annual report was released, for the first time, rather simultaneously in Arabic and English; both texts were posted on IEITI website. The report is long (154 pages) comprises seven section, executive summary, introduction by IEITI’ CEO and four annexes.

In preparing this review I used the English version with crosschecking the Arabic when necessary.

As I did in my reviews of all previous reports, I went thoroughly through the report and made many remarks on its methodology, findings, data, narratives as well as substantive and format maters.

To begin with, most narratives of the current report is repetition, mostly copy & paste, of 2016 report and its “Annex” that was released early 2018 except, of course, the data relating to 2017. The remarks on the current report are detailed and many; they are thematically grouped in the following categories:*

  • One: Weak quality control of data and information;
  • Two: Confused and inconsistent methodology;
  • Three: Data reconciliation;
  • Four: Data discrepancies;
  • Five: Annual comparison;
  • Six: Information and data that need re-checking and correction;
  • Seven: KRG data and information;
  • Eight: The mining sector.

Considering the finding of the review, it becomes necessary to address these findings, check the accuracy and relevance of data and information, revise the entire report and produce a new version.

* Summary of the review was written in Arabic and was circulated within my network of contacts.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

Oil Ministry Finalises Export Figures for November

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced final oil exports for November of 105,014,747 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.500 million barrels per day (bpd), up from the 3.447 million bpd exported in October.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 102,005,095 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,381,065 barrels, and from Qayara 293,969 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 334,618 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.305 billion at an average price of $60.039 per barrel.

October export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Cabinet to Support Projects in Health, Oil sectors

The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi.

The Prime Minister told the Cabinet that the current government will continue to discharge its  duties until the formation of the next Iraqi government.

The Prime Minister then outlined some of the key achievements of this government which will be detailed in a comprehensive report to be published soon.

The Cabinet discussed several policies and approved administrative measures to support projects in the health sector, including building general hospitals in Iraqi provinces with a capacity of 400 beds each.

The Cabinet approved recommendations submitted by the Ministerial Council for Energy to allow Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC) to borrow 265,000,000 US dollars from the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) for the purpose of implementing a project to expand the production at Al-Nasiriyah oil field by an additional 100,000 barrels per day.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)