Covid-19: KRG makes Masks Mandatory in Public

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chairs meeting on combating new wave of Covid_19

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a meeting with the government's high-level committee on the coronavirus outbreak via video conference.

In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Minister of Health presented a detailed report on the increasing number of infections and fatalities in the Kurdistan Region due to a recent surge in Covid_19 cases. The Minister of Interior then presented a report on government measures to enforce compliance with the government's health advice.

Following an exchange of views on how to curb the spread of the disease, the government's committee on coronavirus made the following decisions:

  1. First: The government's public health guidance will continue, including quarantine and delivering services to the infected, contacts and tourists. The campaign to spread awareness on the disease and health advice will intensify too.
  2. Second: The committee also decided to make wearing a mask mandatory in public places and institutions. There will be a supply of masks at government institutions for people visiting these places. Violators will be held accountable to the law.
  3. Third: The government will allocate an additional 5 billion Iraqi dinars to fight the pandemic. Health institutions in all provinces and counties can benefit from these funds.
  4. Fourth: The government will facilitate the production of masks and other equipment to ensure high quality and affordable pricing.
  5. Fifth: The Ministry of Health is permitted to expand laboratory services and set necessary mechanisms to diagnose and identify virus patients Ministry teams will continue contact tracing and tracking suspect cases.
  6. Sixth: The Ministries of Health and Interior along with the Department of Foreign Relations were assigned to contact and visit relevant departments in the Iraqi government and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as well as consulates and international organisations to seek assistance for the fight against the virus.
  7. Seventh: The travel ban between provinces in the Kurdistan Region and between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi cities will continue, and measures to protect from the virus will toughen amid a recent surge in infections. The Ministries of Peshmerga Affairs and Interior were also assigned to schedule reporting to duty hours in a way to minimise travel and contact, especially for those who commute from other cities to work. The same will apply to employees of other departments, who have to commute to work.

(Source: KRG)

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)

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)

Baghdad “Halts Payments to KRG”

By John Lee.

Baghdad is said to have stopped payments to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Writing for Argus Media, Rowena Edwards says central government will also seek to recover payments made since the start of the year, in the absence of KRG transfers of crude oil, which were part of the as-yet-unsigned 2020 budget.

More here.

(Source: Argus Media)

Genel Energy Report on Payments to Govts for 2019

Report on payments to governments for the year 2019

Introduction and basis for preparation

This report sets out details of the payments made to governments by Genel Energy plc and its subsidiary undertakings ('Genel') for the year ended 31 December 2019 as required under the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (the 'DTRs') and in accordance with our interpretation of the Industry Guidance issued for the UK's Report on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014, as amended in December 2015 ('the Regulations').

The DTRs require companies in the UK and operating in the extractives sector to publicly disclose payments made to governments in the countries where they undertake exploration, prospection, development and extraction of oil and natural gas deposits or other materials.

This report is available to download at www.genelenergy.com/investor-relations/results-reports-presentations.

Governments

All of the payments made in relation to licences in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq ('KRI') have been made to the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government ('KRG').

Production entitlements

Production entitlements are the host government's share of production during the reporting period from projects operated by Genel. Production entitlements from projects that are not operated by Genel are not covered by this report. The figures reported have been produced on an entitlement basis rather than on a liftings basis. Production entitlements are paid in-kind and the monetary value disclosed is derived from management's calculation of revenue from the field.

Royalties

Royalties represent royalties paid in-kind to governments during the year for the extraction of oil. The terms of the Royalties are described within our Production Sharing Contracts and can vary from project to project. Royalties have been calculated on the same barrels of oil equivalent basis as production entitlements.

Materiality threshold

Total payments below £86,000 made to a government are excluded from this report as permitted under the Regulations.

payments to governments - 2019

Country/Licence KRI Total (1) Taq Taq (2)
Production entitlement (bbls) 2,158,407.69 2,158,407.69
Royalties in kind (bbls) 435,881.47 435,881.47
Total (bbls) 2,594,289.16 2,594,289.16
Value of production entitlements ($ million) 128.43 128.43
Value of royalties ($ million) 25.80 25.80
Capacity building payments ($ million) (3) 4.63 4.63
Total ($ million) 158.86 158.86
  1. Under the lifting arrangements implemented by the KRG, the KRG takes title to crude at the wellhead and then transports it to Ceyhan in Turkey by pipeline. The crude is then sold by the KRG into the international market. All proceeds of sale are received by or on behalf of the KRG, out of which the KRG then makes payment for cost and profit oil in accordance with the PSC to Genel, in exchange for the crude delivered to the KRG. Under these arrangements, payments are in fact made by or on behalf of the KRG to Genel, rather than by Genel to the KRG. For the purposes of the reporting requirements under the Regulations however, we are required to characterise the value of the KRG's entitlement under the PSC (for which they receive payment directly from the market) as a payment made to the KRG. Therefore, estimated value in $millions is not paid to the KRG, and is calculated to meeting the reporting requirements under the regulations.
  2. The amount reported for Taq Taq, is the gross payment made to the KRI by the operating company (TTOPCO), Genel's share of thesepayments is equal to 55% (withthe exception of capacity building payments).
  3. Capacity building payments reported are payments made by Genel directly to the KRI in cash as required by the PSC.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Gazprom “Not Reducing Investment” in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

Russia's Gazprom Neft has reportedly said it will not reduce investment in its projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, despite a request from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to do so.

Reuters reports that following a slump in oil prices, oil producers have been asked to reduce their investments, which governments often have to partially reimburse as part of their contractual arrangements.

Gazprom Neft holds a participating interest of 40 percent in the Garmian block and 80 percent in the Halabja and Shakal blocks. The Sarqala field is located within the Garmian block.

More here.

(Source: Ekurd, Reuters)

KRG to Investigate Alleged $250m payment from Rosneft?

By John Lee.

The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masrour Barzani, has reportedly called for the public prosecutor to launch an investigation into allegations that Russian state oil company Rosneft paid $250 million to a consultant to secure deals in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg claimed that the oil company paid the money an unknown individual in 2017 and 2018 to become the dominant foreign player in the Kurdish oil industry.

More here.

(Source: Ekurd)

Rosneft “Paid Mystery Consultant $250m in Iraq Deal”

By John Lee.

Russia’s state oil company Rosneft has reportedly paid $250 million to an external consultant to help secure deals in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Bloomberg reports that Rosneft Trading SA in 2017 “entered into an advisory agreement with an external consultant for advisory services relating to Rosneft Group’s proposed concession agreement and Production Sharing Contracts (“PSCs”) with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (“KRG”)”.

Click here to read the full story.

(Source: Bloomberg)

KRG takes action to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani (pictured) today chaired a cabinet meeting with governors from the Kurdistan Region to discuss recent developments, along with the steps the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is taking to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Minister of Health Saman Hussein Muhammed updated the Prime Minister and his cabinet on the latest data regarding the spread of the coronavirus around the world and across the region, and presented immediate actions and measures the KRG is undertaking to prevent the virus from entering the Kurdistan Region.

The KRG Council of Ministers issued several decisions to protect the health of the Kurdistan Region’s citizens, as follows:

• The KRG will deliver up-to-date accurate information and instructions to the public on a daily basis, with the help of media organisations.

• The KRG will declare the period of 26 February to 10 March a public holiday for all public and private schools and kindergartens in the Kurdistan Region. Public and private universities will be closed from 29 February to 10 March. All schools and universities will remain closed during the spring break (10 March – 23 March) before reopening on 24 March. The Ministries of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research will prepare a schedule that enables students to catch up with their studies.

• The KRG will screen domestic and international tourists entering the Kurdistan Region, in addition to limiting their movements. No one will be permitted to enter the Kurdistan Region without the required medical checks.

• The KRG will ensure people have access to everyday commodities, and that shops in the Kurdistan Region will continue stocking essential goods. The KRG will prevent the price manipulation of essential goods, and take action against anyone who attempts to benefit illegally from this situation.

• The Ministry of Finance and Economy will provide financial support to governorates and local administrations, working closely with the Ministries of Interior and Health.

The KRG is encouraging everyone to help with the implementation of these preventative steps, and to follow instructions and advice provided by healthcare professionals to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Barzani also briefed ministers on the KRG delegation’s recent series of important meetings with world leaders in Germany, Italy and the Vatican. He provided an update on the latest efforts in Baghdad to form a new federal government, and stressed the Kurdistan Region, as an official and constitutional entity in Iraq, is the only body which can decide on its representatives in the federal government’s cabinet.

He added that all Kurdistani political parties in Baghdad were in agreement, and praised them for presenting a united front.

(Source: KRG)

KRG “Agrees 2020 Budget Share with Baghdad”

By John Lee.

Erbil and Baghdad have reportedly reached an agreement on Erbil’s contribution to the 2020 federal budget.

According to Reuters, the state news agency INA says the deal includes a transfer of 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the oil-producing region to Iraq’s national budget.

Iraq’s 2020 federal budget is currently under discussion in parliament.

(Source: Reuters)