GKP Reports Loss for 1H 2020

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were trading largely unchanged at lunchtime on Thursday, after the company announced a loss for the half year ended 30 June 2020.

Company statement:

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

"We moved decisively to protect the business and preserve liquidity in response to COVID-19 and the decline in oil prices. We are actively managing the impact of COVID-19 and working to protect our staff. The Shaikan Field continues to perform well with production up more than 25% compared to H1 2019. 

"While waiting to resume the 55,000 bopd project, the Company has identified a number of simple, low-cost, high-impact investments that have the potential to increase the current base level of gross production by approximately 5,000 bopd and, subject to a satisfactory operating environment, could be implemented in the near-term.

"We continue to maintain a tight focus on cost control and further savings will be reflected in the full year results.

"With our current measures in place, we are pleased to provide 2020 gross production guidance of 35,000 to 36,000 bopd. With continued improvement in macro and operating conditions, we are well positioned to deliver the long-term potential of the Shaikan Field and look forward to resuming shareholder distributions over time."

Highlights to 30 June 2020 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Operations at Shaikan continue safely and reliably, with no Lost Time Incidents ("LTIs") reported during 2020.
  • The Shaikan reservoir continues to perform in line with expectations, with current gross production of c.36,000 bopd and average 2020 gross production to 1 September 2020 of 36,272 bopd.
  • At the time of suspension of investment plans in March 2020, key drilling and facilities activities were on track to achieve the 55,000 bopd target in Q3 2020.
  • GKP is preparing to return to production growth, and has identified a number of quick payback projects, which are expected to increase gross production by c.5,000 bopd for an aggregate gross cost of c.$3 million. Planning is ongoing and, subject to a satisfactory operating environment, could be implemented in the near-term.
  • The Company remains committed to operating sustainably. Throughout the pandemic, the Company has continued to actively support the communities around Shaikan and has donated essential equipment to nearby hospitals.

Financial

  • H1 2020 revenue of $49.9 million (H1 2019 - $95.6 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $27.5 million (H1 2019 - $59.0 million) resulted from the decline in oil prices, partially offset by increased production. Such factors combined with increased depreciation, depletion and amortisation ("DD&A") due to production growth drove a loss after tax of $33.1 million (H1 2019 - $24.2 million profit).
  • Opex per barrel in H1 2020 was $2.6/bbl, below guidance of $2.7 - $3.1/bbl. Operating costs and general and administrative ("G&A") expenses savings of 12% contributed to expense reductions compared to H1 2019, and further savings are expected in H2 2020 with the significant reduction in activity and continuing focus on cost control.
  • Net capex in H1 2020 was $38.5 million. H2 2020 net capex is expected to be minimal, comprised principally of long-lead time deliveries that will expedite the eventual restart of growth activities. Full year net capex is expected to be within the original $40-48 million guidance range.
  • To protect cash flows, Gulf Keystone hedged c.70% of its H2 2020 net production at a floor price of $35/bbl while retaining full upside exposure.
  • In Q1 2020, the Company completed the second tranche of its share buyback programme bringing total 2019 and 2020 capital distributions to $99 million.
  • Since March 2020, the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") has paid for the last five months of oil sales in the following month as per its commitment to international oil companies ("IOCs").
  • The Company has a strong balance sheet with $140 million of cash at 2 September 2020 and no debt repayment until mid-2023.

  Corporate

  • As previously announced, Jón Ferrier, CEO, has informed the Board of his intention to retire from the Company upon appointment of a successor and after a period of handover. The search process for a new CEO is underway.
  • The Company announced the re-appointment of Garrett Soden to the Board of GKP as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director representing funds managed by Lansdowne Partners Austria GmbH.

Outlook

  • After successfully managing the impacts of COVID-19 over the last several months, the Company is pleased to provide 2020 gross production guidance of 35,000 bopd to 36,000 bopd.
  • GKP is well positioned to restart its drilling programme to achieve 55,000 bopd when circumstances permit.
  • In line with its stated growth strategy, GKP continues to progress growth opportunities at Shaikan and will also consider potential value accretive inorganic options on an opportunistic basis.
  • The Company remains in a constructive dialogue with the KRG and will continue to seek the timely settlement of the overdue November 2019 to February 2020 invoices totaling $73.3 million (net). The KRG has committed that with the continuing improvement in the price of dated Brent above $50/bbl outstanding arrears will be reviewed.
  • GKP remains committed to maintaining its strong financial position and, as conditions continue to improve, returning to a balance of production growth and shareholder distributions.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.

More here and here.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

The post GKP Reports Loss for 1H 2020 first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Preliminary Oil Export Figures for August

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for August of 80,494,536 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.597 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 2.763 million bpd exported in July.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 77,505,136 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,989,400 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $3.517 billion at an average price of $43.693 per barrel.

July's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

The post Preliminary Oil Export Figures for August first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Oil Ministry Finalises Export Figures for July

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced finalised oil exports for July of 85,663,290 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.763 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 2.816 million bpd exported in June.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 82,700,381 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,701,015 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 261,894 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $3.492 billion at an average price of $40.762 per barrel.

June's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

$8bn New Iraqi Energy Agreements with US Firms

The following commercial agreements worth as much as $8 billion were reached during a signing ceremony between U.S. energy companies and the Government of Iraq on August 19, 2020:

  • Honeywell and the Ministry of Oil agreed to advance the development of the Ar Ratawi [Artawi] gas project, which will further enable Iraq to capture, process, and utilize indigenous gas resources to meet domestic energy demand.
  • General Electric and the Ministry of Electricity committed to three agreements that will help increase reliable access to electricity in Iraq, including efforts related to GE's existing generation maintenance program, addition of combined cycle units at the Dhi Qar and Samawah power plants, and collaboration on strengthening Iraq's electricity grid and interconnection with neighboring countries.
  • Stellar Energy and the Ministry of Electricity concluded a front-end engineering and design agreement that will help advance deployment of turbine inlet air chilling technology on more than 30 turbines, which will increase power sector efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
  • Baker Hughes and the Ministry of Oil agreed to further collaboration on flare gas-to-power opportunities, and deployment of U.S. oil field services and equipment.
  • Chevron and the Iraqi Ministry of Oil outlined a framework for entering into exclusive negotiating on an exploration, development, and production contract in the Dhi Qar Province.

US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette (pictured) said:

"As two of the top oil producers in the world, the United States and Iraq share an appreciation for how energy shapes our economies and can strengthen our respective security.

"That is why I was thrilled to join Prime Minster Kadhimi, Minister Ismael, and Minister Hantoush today for an event featuring this prestigious Iraqi delegation and our great American energy companies. Together, we laid the groundwork for commercial partnerships worth up to $8 billion.

"These deals are key to Iraq's energy future, and I am confident that the same companies that have empowered the United States to become energy independent will deploy their deep expertise to help Iraq achieve its full potential in the energy sector."

(Source: US Dept of Energy)

Mousa Jiyad Questions Norwegian Tanker Deal

By John Lee.

Iraq Business News Expert Blogger, Ahmed Mousa Jiyad, has demanded an investigation into Iraq's reported contract to buy tankers from a Norwegian company.

The Ministry of Oil announced on 18th August that the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC) had concluded a contract with Norway's Batservice Mandal [Båtservice Mandal AS] to build two oil tankers.

According to Mr Jiyad, the company has no experience in building ships of this sort, and filed for bankruptcy last year.

The full text of Mr Jiyad's statement (in Arabic) can be read below:

Norwegian Firm to build Oil Tankers for Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil, represented by the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC), has concluded a contract with Norway's Batservice Mandal [Båtservice Mandal AS] to build two oil tankers.

Oil Minister Ahsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail said that this contract comes within the framework of the ministry's plans to rebuild the national fleet of oil tankers, which he said have been damaged by futile wars over the past decades.

The General Director of the Iraqi Oil Tanker Company, Ahmed Khazal, said that the two oil tankers will have a capacity of 30,000 tons each, and be delivered 18 months after the date of signing the contract.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Iraq to Sign Exploration MoU With Chevron

By John Lee.

Iraq is reported to be planning to sign a memorandum of understanding with US-based Chevron to explore for oil in Dhi Qar (Thi Qar) province.

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the deal would formalise Chevron's interest in exploring the eastern and western parts of Nasiriyah, the capital of Dhi Qar.

More here.

(Source: Bloomberg)

GKP CFO to Chair Oryx

Oryx Petroleum has announces the appointment of Sami Zouari (pictured) as Board Chair and Independent Director with immediate effect.

Mr. Zouari  succeeds Jean Claude Gandur who recently resigned from the Corporation as part of transactions consummated between The Addax and Oryx Group PLC and Zeg Oil and Gas Limited.

Sami Zouari was most recently the Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director of Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited, an independent oil and gas company that operates the Shaikan Field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. During his tenure, Mr. Zouari played a lead role in the operational and commercial transformation and the financial restructuring of Gulf Keystone into one of the premier independent exploration and production companies operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the wider Middle East. Prior to appointment at Gulf Keystone, Mr. Zouari held various positions at Total E&P and BNP Paribas.

Commenting today, Independent Director of Oryx Petroleum, Peter Newman, stated:

"We are delighted to welcome Sami to the Board. His extensive experience in the oil and gas sector in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Middle East, his knowledge of financial markets, and his experience with corporate transformation processes will be enormously helpful to us as we confront financial challenges and seek to maximise value from the Hawler license."

Also commenting today, Chair of Oryx Petroleum, Sami Zouari, stated:

"The Hawler license is an asset I believe has significant potential. I look forward to working with the Board and Management of Oryx Petroleum to transform Oryx Petroleum into one of the leading independent exploration and production operators in the Kurdistan Region."

(Source: Oryx Petroleum)

Japanese Firm awarded $3.7bn Iraq Deal

JGC Holdings Corporation announced today that JGC Corporation, which operates the overseas engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) business of the JGC Group, has been received the Letter of Award for the Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project for an Iraqi oil refining company under the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. Details of the project are as follows.

 
1. Client South Refineries Company

(Oil refining company under the Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

2. Construction location Basrah, Republic of Iraq

(Approx. 550 km SE of the capital of Baghdad)

3. Primary equipment(processing abilities) Fluid catalytic cracking unit (34,500 barrels/day),
vacuum distillation unit (55,000 barrels/day),
diesel desulfurization unit (40,000 barrels/day), etc.
4. Contract services Engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning
5. Contract type Lump sum contract
6. Order amount Approx. 400 billion JPY
7. Scheduled completion 2025

Iraq is one of the world's leading oil-producing countries, with a confirmed crude oil reserve of 145 billion barrels and a daily crude oil production of 4.41 million barrels. However, the two refineries currently in operation were constructed in the 1970s and their production capacity has decreased due to war damage and deterioration. Unable to meet domestic demand for petroleum products, Iraq has to import petroleum products such as gasoline.

This upgrading of the Basrah refinery will newly install, on land adjacent to the existing Basrah refinery, fluid catalytic cracking unit, vacuum distillation unit, and diesel desulfurization unit, etc., thereby increasing production to 19,000 barrels/day of gasoline and 36,000 barrels/day of diesel fuel, making it possible to reduce the gap in supply and demand for petroleum products.

In addition, the petroleum products produced at the modernized refinery will meet international environmental standards and it is expected that they will contribute to reducing the environmental impact. This project is positioned as spearheading the modernization and sophistication of Iraq's oil refining sector.

Funding for the project will be procured through Japanese ODA loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and is the largest-scale reconstruction assistance from Japan since the 2003 Iraq War.

In carrying out this project, the Group plans to conduct skills training for more than 1,000 Iraqis and to hire approximately 7,000 skilled Iraqi workers. Furthermore, it is expected that more than 2,000 operating personnel jobs will be created after the project's completion, which will contribute to solving the unemployment problem in Iraq

The Group completed a power station reconstruction project in Iraq in 2013, and this is the Group's second project in Iraq. The Group will contribute to the reconstruction and economic development of Iraq through the successful completion of this project.

(Source: JGC)

Beirut Explosion: Iraq sends Aid to Lebanon

By John Lee.

On Wednesday evening, the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab received an Iraqi delegation headed by Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, representing Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and which included Deputy Health Minister Hani Al-Aqabi, Chargé D'affaires, Amin Al-Nasrawi, Political Advisor Ahmad Jamal and Oil Minister's Office Head Haidar Obaid, in the presence of Energy and Water Minister Raymond Ghajar and PM's Advisor, Khodor Taleb.

The delegation briefed the Prime minister on the Iraqi medical provisions that arrived in Beirut and the petroleum products that departed Baghdad.

After the meeting, Minister Abdul-Jabbar said:

"In response to the directive of the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, we came from the Ministry of Oil along with the Deputy Health Minister and a number of general and specialized surgeons, carrying aid amounting to 20 tons of medical and health materials, as an expression of Iraq's solidarity with the suffering of brotherly Lebanon due to the recent incident that took place.

"An atmosphere of desolation and expectation prevailed in Iraq, in the face of the major event that afflicted Beirut. May Lebanon return to normalcy and live safe. The Iraqi government is committed to engage with Lebanon in the face of this ordeal. The fuel convoys have left Baghdad en route to Beirut via the Syrian border.

"Premier Al-Kadhimi promised the Lebanese government to provide Lebanon with fuel; Iraq will be of invaluable assistance and support for the Lebanese government. The medical staff will remain in Beirut until the Lebanese authorities consent to their return, and medical assistance will remain available. We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and missing persons, and we wish recovery for the wounded people."

(Source: Lebanese PM Press Office)