DNO Buys Exxon’s Stake in Iraqi Oilfield

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has announced the acquisition of ExxonMobil's 32 percent interest in the Baeshiqa license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, doubling DNO's operated stake to 64 percent (80 percent paying interest), pending government approval.

The Company plans to continue an exploration and appraisal program on the license while fast tracking early production from existing wells in 2021.

DNO has already demonstrated proof of concept of producing through temporary test facilities, having delivered 15,000 barrels of 40o API oil and 22o API oil for export from the Baeshiqa-2 and Zartik-1 wells, respectively.

In November 2019 DNO issued a notice of discovery on the Baeshiqa license after flowing hydrocarbons from several Jurassic and Triassic zones to surface in the 3,204 meters (2,549 meters TVDSS) Baeshiqa-2 exploration well. Following acid stimulation, the zone flowed variable rates of light oil and sour gas.

Two zones flowed naturally at rates averaging over 3,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of light gravity oil each and another averaged over 1,000 bopd also of light gravity oil. Subsequent analyses on surface samples collected during testing confirm that the Triassic reservoirs contain saturated oil with a gas cap.

An exploration well was completed in 2020 on a second structure (Zartik) some 15 kilometers southeast of the Baeshiqa-2 discovery well. The 3,021 meters (2,322 meters TVDSS) well tested hydrocarbons to surface from several Jurassic zones, with the uppermost zone flowing naturally at rates averaging over 2,000 bopd of medium gravity oil.

The Company currently estimates gross license contingent recoverable resources from three of the tested zones in the two wells ranging from 12 million barrels of oil (mmbbls) (1C) to 156 mmbbls (3C), with a 2C volume of 43 mmbbls.

"By increasing our stake in the Baeshiqa license now, we demonstrate our belief in its ultimate potential," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani (pictured), DNO's Executive Chairman. "Following the stabilization of oil prices and export payments in Kurdistan, DNO is stepping up spending on new opportunities," he added.

DNO acquired its first 32 percent interest from ExxonMobil and assumed operatorship of the Baeshiqa license in 2018.

The 324 square kilometer license is situated 60 kilometers west of Erbil and 20 kilometers east of Mosul. The license contains two large structures, Baeshiqa and Zartik, which have multiple independent stacked target reservoir systems, including in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic. The remaining partners in the license include TEC [Turkish Energy Company] with a 20 percent paying (16 percent net) interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government with a 20 percent carried interest.

In addition to the Baeshiqa license, DNO also operates the Tawke license containing the Tawke and Peshkabir fields in Kurdistan. Gross operated production from the Tawke license averaged 110,300 bopd in 2020.

(Source: DNO)

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Dana Gas to Increase Drilling in Iraqi Kurdistan

Dana Gas PJSC, the Middle East's largest regional private sector natural gas company, today announced its Preliminary Unaudited Financial Results for the full year ended 31 December 2020.

The Company reported a Net Profit of $36 million (AED 131mm) versus $88 million (AED 322mm) in 2019, excluding one-off non-cash impairments and other income. Including these one-offs, the Company reported a Net Loss of $376 million (AED 1.4bn) versus a Net Profit of $157 million (AED 575mm).

A total of $412 million (AED 1,51bn) of impairments were incurred mostly related to the sale of Dana Gas Egypt onshore assets.

Dana Gas's continued operations (Kurdistan Region of Iraq) contributed an annual net profit of $32 million reflecting the profitability of the remaining business despite the challenging year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue was $349 million (AED 1.27bn) in 2020 compared to $459 million (AED 1.68bn) in 2019 due to both lower realised prices and lower production in Egypt.

The Company's robust, long-standing programme to control operating expenses helped to effectively navigate the challenging market environment in 2020. G&A costs were reduced by a further 20% year-on-year.

Dana Gas fully redeemed its outstanding Sukuk on schedule in October 2020. The Company closed the year on a strong financial footing, and maintains a positive financial outlook for 2021.

Dr Patrick Allman-Ward (pictured), CEO of Dana Gas, commented:

"The world experienced unprecedented shocks in 2020 with the COVID pandemic and its impact on the global petroleum markets with prices collapsing to levels not seen for over 20 years. Nevertheless, Dana Gas has shown real resilience both from an operational as well as financial perspective.

"When the pandemic struck, our first priority was the health and safety of our staff. However, we managed to keep our operations on-stream by implementing the most stringent health and safety measures. We not only managed to keep production levels up, but we also carried out a de-bottlenecking project on our Khor Mor plant in July which added a total of 50 MMscf/d of production capacity. In December we consistently obtained record production levels of over 440 MMscf/d. This extraordinary operational performance under the most testing of circumstances is testament to the commitment, dedication and hard work of our staff who have been outstanding in this challenging time.

"Despite the challenges imposed by the global pandemic, we exited the year in a robust financial position with a strong balance sheet, having agreed upon the sale of our Egypt onshore assets, redeeming our outstanding Sukuk and entering into a new credit facility at a lower interest rate.

"In 2021, we aim to advance the development of our world class assets in the KRI, where over 90% of Dana Gas's proven reserves of over 1 billion boe are located, while concurrently moving ahead with our plans to prepare for the drilling of the next exploration well in Block 6 in Egypt, which holds exciting, material upside potential."

Operations & Production

Average group production declined 5% during 2020, averaging 63,200 boepd versus 66,200 boepd in 2019. Production was boosted by a 2% jump in output from the KRI, which reached 32,250 boepd. This helped to offset a drop in production from Egypt, which fell 8% to 30,300 boepd versus 33,000 boepd in 2019 as a result of natural field declines.

Fourth quarter 2020 average group production was up 2% to 63,600 boepd. The KRI added 9% to reach 33,250 boepd in fourth quarter production because of the successful completion of the plant bypass project.

The KRI and Egypt operations have continued without interruption and remain fully functioning, un-impacted by the Covid pandemic. The restarting of the expansion plans in the KRI demonstrates that all the parties working on the project are fully committed to executing the expansion project as quickly and as safely as possible. The Pearl consortium remains focused on completing the first 250 MMscf/d gas processing train in Q1 2023 and is also examining ways to bring forward the current schedule.

In 2021 the Company will prepare for the drilling of up to five development wells in the KRI which will begin the following year. It is also moving ahead on the evaluation of the highly prospective Block 6 in Egypt, interpreting the infill seismic data that was acquired in mid-2020 and planning for drilling the next exploration well in 2023.

Sale of Egypt assets

In October 2020 Dana Gas entered into a binding agreement with IPR Wastani Petroleum Ltd, for the sale of its onshore Egyptian producing oil and gas assets for a cash consideration of up to $236 million including contingent payments. The sale is on track for completion in H1 2021. The Company will retain its interests in its exciting offshore exploration concession, North El Arish (Block 6) which contains material gas resource potential in excess of 20 Tcf.

Liquidity and Collections

The Group's cash balance at year-end stood at $108 million. The Board is considering transferring voluntary reserves into retained earnings to support dividend capacity subject to shareholder approval.

The Group collected a total of $182 million in 2020 (2019: $285mm) with Egypt and KRI contributing $80 million (2019: $138mm) and $102 million (2019: $139mm) respectively.
As of 31 December 2020, the Company's Egypt receivables stood at $130 million (AED 477mm).

In the KRI, regular payments have been received since March 2020. The KRG maintained its commitment to pay its invoices on time despite facing fiscal challenges throughout the year. Currently, $39 million is outstanding (DG 35% share). The Company has received notification from the KRG on the mechanism for settlement of the outstanding receivables.

(Source: Dana Gas)

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DNO announces 2020 Interim Results

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today reported interim 2020 revenues of USD 615 million, down a third from a year earlier in the wake of weak oil prices triggered by the pandemic and global economic contraction.

Net production totaled 95,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), down nine percent, as the Company cut spending to preserve cash.

For the full year, DNO reported a net loss of USD 286 million driven by the lower revenues and pre-tax asset impairments of USD 276 million, most of which were reported in the third quarter.

With solid cash flow from operations of USD 236 million and North Sea tax refunds of another USD 236 million, DNO exited 2020 with a cash balance of USD 477 million, essentially unchanged from the start of the year, following repayment of USD 161 million in bond debt.

The Company drilled six exploration wells last year leading to three likely commercial discoveries, including Røver Nord and Bergknapp in Norway and Zartik in Kurdistan's Baeshiqa license. The discoveries will be considered for fast-track development and tie-in to existing offshore or onshore infrastructure.

DNO will drill two potentially high impact exploration wells this year, notably the much anticipated Edinburgh prospect that straddles the Norway-United Kingdom border in which the Company holds a 45 percent stake and the Gomez prospect offshore Norway in which the Company holds an 85 percent stake.

The total 2021 well count, including development wells, will increase to 27 from 17 last year.

Temporary Norwegian petroleum tax incentives are driving other stepped-up investments. The Company is proceeding to concept selection for the operated Brasse field, accelerating infill drilling at Ula, Tambar and Brage fields in 2021 and evaluating the Iris/Hades, Røver Nord, Alve Gjøk, Orion/Syrah and Trym South discoveries for project sanction in 2022.

DNO projects operational spend of USD 700 million this year, up from USD 511 million in 2020.

The Company achieved a net 2P reserve replacement ratio of 64 percent in 2020, notwithstanding limited activity, ending the year with 332 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of proven and probable reserves, down 13 mmboe from yearend 2019, according to preliminary figures.

More here:

(Source: DNO)

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Oil Exports Slightly Up for January

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced initial oil exports for January of 88,922,697 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.868 million barrels per day (bpd), up from the 2.846 million bpd exported in December.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 85,870,503 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 3,052,194 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $4.739 billion at an average price of $53.294 per barrel.

December's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Russian Oil Firm to Finance Nassiriyah Development

By John Lee.

The Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC) has reportedly said that Litasco, the international marketing and trading company of Russia's LUKOIL, will finance the doubling of capacity at the Nassiriyah oil field from 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) t0 200,000 bpd.

The project includes a 42-kilometer pipeline, and will be a joint venture between the State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP) and Italy's Progetti.

(Source: Shafaq)

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Iraq and Total sign MoU for “Large Projects”

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French oil company Total.

According to a statement from the Ministry, both sides have "achieved advanced cooperation steps towards implementing large projects in the oil and energy sector."

The document was signed in Baghdad by Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail and the CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanné.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

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French Petroleum Consultancy meets Iraqi Oil Minister

By John Lee.

French petroleum consultancy Beicip-Franlab met with Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail in Baghdad on Wednesday to discuss strategic plans to develop oil and gas fields in the country.

Among those in attendance were the company's Chairman and CEO, Jean Burrus, and the French Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Aubert.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

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Iraq approves Paris Climate Accord

By Al Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq approves Paris climate accord in step toward curtailing oil dependence

Iraq faces significant hurdles in transitioning to an economy without oil dependence, and future trends can be expected to exacerbate those challenges.

Click here to read the full article.

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