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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Baker Hughes awarded Iraqi Gas Processing Contract

By John Lee.

Baker Hughes has confirmed that it has been awarded what it describes as a "major contract" by Iraq's South Gas Company (SGC) in the last quarter of 2020.

The project consists of the design, manufacturing, delivery, construction and commissioning of an integrated facility for the processing and production of natural gas.

The facility is expected to have a capacity of 200 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day and utilize previously flared natural gas from the Nassiriya and Gharraf oil fields, reducing emissions by an estimated 6+ million tons of CO2 annually.

Baker Hughes will act as an overall solution provider for SGC, overseeing construction and startup of the facility as well as supplying compression equipment, digital monitoring systems and multiple services.

(Source: Baker Hughes)

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Chinese Consortium to Develop Dhi Qar Refinery

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has signed an outline agreement with a Chinese consortium for the development of the Dhi Qar refinery.

A Ministry official described the signing of the initial principles agreement as an important step forward, and a prelude to the signing of the final investment contract for the Dhi Qar refinery project, which will have a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The Director General of the Southern Refineries Company (SRC), Hussam Wali, said that the final signature of the contract will be made "after the completion of the economic model of the investment contract", and it is hoped that this will take place within three months.

The consortium consists of Chinese state-owned arms manufacturer Norinco (which owns ZhenHua Oil), Power China (Power Construction Corporation of China), CNEC (China Nuclear Engineering & Construction?) and the UAE Company for Middle Services Ltd.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Genel Energy expects Continued Growth

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has issued the following trading and operations update in advance of the Company's full-year 2020 results, which are scheduled for release on 18 March 2021. The information contained herein has not been audited and may be subject to further review.

Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"Executing our strategy in 2020 through delivering low-cost production, paying a material dividend, and retaining our financial strength in order to invest in growth has helped lay the foundations for year on year production increases in this year and the years ahead. Bringing Sarta to production in 2020 despite the challenges of COVID-19 now means that we are generating revenues from our fourth field as we rapidly move to further appraise its huge reserve potential.

"The successful early refinancing provides us with the liquidity and financial certainty to continue prudently investing in growth while retaining a robust balance sheet and delivering returns to shareholders. We expect to drill 12 wells across the portfolio this year. These wells have the potential to add incremental low-cost and cash generative production at the Tawke PSC, add and convert contingent resources to reserves and add production at Sarta, and open up a new field at Qara Dagh. With numerous catalysts in the year and a more promising external environment than 2020, Genel is looking confidently ahead to 2021."


  • $173 million of cash proceeds were received in 2020 (2019: $317 million)
  • Capital expenditure of $109 million (2019: $161 million), with spending reduced appropriately to reflect the external environment, yet ensuring continuing growth
  • Free cash outflow of $5 million in 2020, pre dividend payment (2019: $99 million free cash inflow), comparison impacted by:
    • Lower oil price ($42/bbl in 2020, compared to $64/bbl in 2019)
    • Non-payment of $121 million relating to oil sales from November 2019 to February 2020
    • Suspension of override payments with a cashflow impact totalling $38 million in 2020
  • The low-production cost per barrel of $2.8/bbl in 2020 helped deliver asset level cash generation of $74 million in the year
  • Dividends of $55 million paid in 2020, of which $14 million relates to the 2019 interim dividend paid in January 2020
  • Cash of $354 million at 31 December 2020 ($377 million at 31 December 2019), net cash of $10 million
    • Following the call of the outstanding bond with a maturity date in December 2022, settled on 8 January 2021, Genel had cash of $273 million and debt of $267 million, a net cash position of $6 million
    • Genel currently retains $20 million of the 2025 bond, to reduce interest cost and increase future optionality


  • Net production averaged 31,980 bopd in 2020, with net production in Q4 averaging 31,510 bopd (Q3 2020: 32,210 bopd)
  • Production by field was as follows:
(bopd) Gross production


Net production


Net production


Tawke 57,570 14,390 17,190
Peshkabir 52,710 13,180 13,800
Taq Taq 9,670 4,250 5,260
Sarta 520 160 -
Total 120,470 31,980 36,250


  • Tawke PSC (25% working interest)
    • Gross production at the Tawke PSC averaged 110,280 bopd in 2020, of which Peshkabir contributed 52,710 bopd
    • Production in Q4 2020 averaged 110,170 bopd, of which Peshkabir contributed 56,320 bopd
    • There will be an active drilling campaign in 2021 on the Tawke licence, with up to eight new development wells set to be drilled and multiple workovers on existing producing wells to be undertaken in the drive to maintain production above 100,000 bopd
  • Sarta (30% working interest)
    • First oil production from Sarta began in November 2020, and the Sarta-3 well has produced at an average of c.5,500 bopd so far in 2021
    • Due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols, production from Sarta-2 is now expected in February. A stable production level from both wells will be reached in Q1 2021
    • The 2021 appraisal drilling campaign is targeting a material portion of the 250 MMbbls of existing contingent resources, and prospective resources, in Jurassic formations
    • The campaign will begin at the start of Q2. Sarta-5 and Sarta-6 will be drilled back to back, with results from the first well expected in Q3, and operations on both wells complete in Q4 2021
    • Re-entry and deepening of the Sarta-1 (S-1D) well is expected around the middle of the year. Should S-1D be successful, a flowline will be constructed in order to enable the well to enter production around the end of 2021
  • Taq Taq PSC (44% working interest and joint operator)
    • Gross production at Taq Taq averaged 9,670 bopd in 2020, following the suspension of drilling activity in H1 2020
    • Q4 production at the field averaged 7,610 bopd, with an exit rate of over 8,000 bopd following the early implementation of part of the 2021 well intervention programme, which increased production from the TT-20z and TT-34y wells
    • With activity at Taq Taq focused on optimising cash flow, no drilling is scheduled in 2021, with activity limited to workovers that will help manage field decline


  • Qara Dagh (40% working interest and operator)
    • Preparatory activities are ongoing for the QD-2 well, as Genel continues to target a spud date late in Q1 2021. The water well project successfully completed in December, providing us with water for the drilling operations
    • The well is expected to drill, complete, and test before the end of the year, with the field holding resources estimated by Genel at gross mean c.400 MMbbls
  • Bina Bawi (100% working interest and operator)
    • Discussions with the KRG are ongoing at the highest levels relating to our proposals submitted in August and December 2020, which would enable the Company to progress the next stage of activity
    • Genel continues to maintain capex discipline, and will only commence investment upon certainty of alignment with the KRG and a clear path to monetisation
  • African exploration assets
    • The uncertainty created by COVID-19  delayed the search for partners to fund and minimise Genel's spend on our potentially high-impact exploration wells, but the farm-out process relating to the highly prospective SL10B13 block in Somaliland (100% working interest and operator) is progressing, with potential partners involved in assessing the opportunity
    • A farm-out campaign is also planned relating to the Lagzira block offshore Morocco (75% working interest and operator), with the aim of bringing a partner onto the licence prior to considering further commitments


  • Zero lost time injuries ('LTI') and zero tier one loss of primary containment events in 2020 at Genel and TTOPCO operations
    • There has not been an LTI since 2015, with over 13 million work hours since the last incident
    • 400,000 hours of work completed at Sarta without an LTI
  • Genel expects our 2020 carbon intensity to be c.15 kgCO2e/bbl for scope 1 and 2 emissions, significantly below the global oil and gas industry average of 20 kgCO2e/boe
    • The carbon intensity of our portfolio reduced to 7kg CO2e/bbl of scope 1 and 2 emissions in H2 2020 following the material reduction in flaring at the Tawke PSC through completion and commissioning of the enhanced oil recovery project
    • While portfolio emissions will increase in 2021 following early production at Sarta, Genel is committed to significantly reducing those emissions as production at the field matures
  • Genel is analysing the most effective way to manage emissions, both annually across the portfolio and over the life of each asset, in order to deliver the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees and leading to net zero by 2050


  • Production in 2021 is expected to be slightly above the 2020 average of 31,980 bopd, with the potential for a higher exit rate and further growth in 2022 depending on success of the Sarta appraisal programme
    • Average margin per working interest barrel of over $10/bbl expected in 2021 at average Brent oil price $50/bbl
  • Payments from the KRG continue to be made, with monthly payments received under the KRG's updated payment schedule for the past nine months
    • Override payments to resume from the January 2021 invoice
    • The KRG has submitted a reconciliation model for repayment of the receivable relating to the $159 million in unpaid invoices, whereby for each cent above a monthly dated Brent average of $50/bbl, 0.5 cent per working interest barrel shall be paid towards monies owed. We continue to discuss this model with the KRG, and will update the market in due course
  • Genel retains significant flexibility over its capital expenditure, and will ensure that expenditure is appropriate to the external environment. 2021 capital expenditure is expected to be $150 million to $200 million, with the current outlook supporting investment at the top end of this range
    • Production: c.$80 million expenditure forecast, with all spend recovered through cash receipts in the year
    • Growth: c.$100 million expenditure forecast, including wells and facilities costs, focused on material reserves additions and near-term production
  • Operating costs expected to be c.$50 million (2020: $33 million), with the increase due to the addition of Sarta early production costs, equating to $4/bbl in 2021 ($3/bbl in 2020), retaining our advantageous low operating cost position
  • G&A: expected to be c.$13 million (2020: $12 million)
  • Genel expects to pay a material dividend, as we look to offer a compelling mix of growth and returns

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Iraq Finalises Oil Exports for December

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced finalised oil exports for December of 88,211,750 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.846 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 2.709 million bpd exported in November.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 85,195,608 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 3,016,142 barrels. There were no exports to Jordan, due to the expiration of the contract between the two countries.

Revenues for the month were $4.235 billion at an average price of $48.013 per barrel.

November's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Genel Energy issues Update on Tawke

Genel Energy notes that DNO ASA, as operator of the Tawke PSC (Genel 25% working interest), has issued an update on licence activity.

Gross operated production from the Tawke licence averaged 110,300 bopd in 2020, about evenly split between the Tawke and Peshkabir fields, the sixth consecutive year in which gross Tawke licence production has averaged over 100,000 bopd.

With higher oil prices and more visibility on Kurdistan export payments, up to eight new development wells will be drilled at the Tawke licence and multiple workovers on existing producing wells will be undertaken in the drive to maintain production above 100,000 bopd.

Between the middle of 2020 and the end of the year, a total of 2.4 bcf of Peshkabir field gas, which otherwise would have been flared, was piped and reinjected into the Tawke field for pressure maintenance, leading to an estimated 200,000 barrels of incremental oil recovery and 400,000 barrels of reduced field water production. Another 0.3 bcf of gas were reinjected into the Peshkabir field itself.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Deloitte Report on Kurdistan Region Oil and Gas

Deloitte report on Oil and Gas review in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region - Q1 to Q3 of 2020

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 period 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

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

The data verification was performed by Deloitte.

Transparency being central to the cabinet agenda, the KRG regularly assesses what additional disclosures would enhance the transparency of its oil and gas sector. Accordingly, from 2019 the KRG started providing information on the prepayment balances it owes to oil traders and in 2020 disclosures are further extended to include reconciliation between production and exports and local consumptions.

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.

Click here to download the reports.

(Source: KRG)

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Iraq “makes major progress” in Closing IDP Camps

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

Iraq makes major progress in closing camps for the displaced

After six years of displacement, Iraq has closed around 62% of its remaining camps for internally displaced persons over the past six months and is planning to close all of them this year.

Click here to read the full story.

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Covid-19: Iraq Extends Travel Ban

Iraq's Higher Committee for Health and National Safety held a meeting on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The Committee reviewed the latest Covid-19 related developments and decided to:

  • Update the travel ban to include travel to and from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, the UK, the United States and Zambia.
  • Prohibit the entry into Iraq of passengers from these countries, except for Iraqi nationals who will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine and a PCR test
  • Diplomats, official government delegations, international organizations, and experts working on service projects are exempt from the entry ban, provided they present a PCR test undertaken with 72 hours before their arrival and showing a negative result
  • Apply the principle of reciprocity to foreign airlines in imposing fees in relation to passenger PCR examinations
  • Public and private schools will continue to be allowed to open one day a week but must strictly apply preventive health measures
  • Direct all ministries and government departments to ensure that staff comply with preventative health measures, including the wearing of face masks. Members of the public not wearing face masks will not be allowed into government buildings
  • Shops, restaurants, malls, clubs, cafes, sport centres and event halls will face a fine not exceeding 5 million Iraqi dinars or a closure of no more than 90 days for violations of preventative health measures

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine to hit Iraq by February

By Fehim Tastekin for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

First doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to hit Iraq by February

Iraq has pushed hard to be among the world's first countries to receive and distribute the vaccine after committing $170 million to COVAX, a global body to promote the vaccine.

Click here to read the full story.

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