What is the fate of Baghdad-Erbil’s Oil-for-Budget Agreement?

By Dana Taib Menmy for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

What is the fate of Baghdad-Erbil’s oil-for-budget agreement amid ongoing protests?

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has vast proven oil and gas resources; however, mismanagement, corruption and ruling parties’ monopoly on power have brought the region to the brink of financial collapse amid longstanding controversies with the Iraqi government over the region’s share of federal budget.

Following extensive negotiations, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced Nov. 27 that a final oil-for-budget deal with the Iraqi federal government had been reached in which the KRG agreed to submit 250,000 barrels per day of crude oil to Iraqi State Oil Marketing Company in return for receiving a fair share of the country’s budget for 2020.

The KRG currently produces 500,000 barrels per day, and has been exporting most of its oil independently through Turkey since 2013.

Click here to read the full story.

Atrush Field performing “Exceptionally Well”

By John Lee.

ShaMaran Petroleum has reported that the Atrush Field continues to perform “exceptionally well“.

Average production for the month of November was 43,360 bopd. The CK-15 well is now online and wells currently are undergoing normal-course maintenance.

The Company reiterates its Atrush 2019 average daily production guidance of between 30,000 and 35,000 bopd and a target 2019 exit rate between 45,000 bopd and 50,000 bopd. The Company shares in this production, pursuant to a production sharing contract, with a working interest of 27.6%.

Since the beginning of the year, production has increased 56% and the Company has invested significantly in infrastructure to facilitate continued production growth.

The Atrush field is located 85 km northwest of Erbil and is one of the largest new oil developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The field was first discovered in 2011 and oil production started in July 2017. In its over two years of production the Atrush field has sold all its production to the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq at international market prices.

(Source: ShaMaran Petroleum)

KRG Delays Payments to Oil Firms

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has delayed payments to oil producers by several weeks.

In statements to the markets on on Thursday, Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) and Shamaran Petroleum said that payments relating to invoices for oil production in August and September, which were due to be paid in November and December, will be received in January 2020.

(Sources: Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), Shamaran Petroleum)

Oil Trail reveals Turkey funding Syrian Kurdish rivals

By Amberin Zaman for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Oil trail reveals Turkey funding Syrian Kurdish rivals

At the Halifax Security Forum, an annual event attended by high-powered government officials, business titans and assorted other movers and shakers from across the globe, national security adviser Robert O’Brien took the stage with PBS’ Nick Shifrin and let the cat out of the bag.

When the veteran correspondent grilled O’Brien Nov. 23 about President Donald Trump’s decision to keep US troops in northeastern Syria “for the oil,” noting that the Pentagon’s Syrian Kurdish allies were selling it to the Syrian regime in defiance of sanctions, O’Brien responded, “Some of it goes to the regime. Some of it is used locally. Some of it goes to Iraqi Kurdistan. Some of it goes to Turkey.

The key, though, is not where the oil goes but where the revenue goes.” The main thing, he concluded, was to ensure that none of it got to the Islamic State.

Click here to read the full story.

Help Abducted Yazidi Children Reclaim Childhoods

It’s (almost) Christmas, so please spare a thought for those less fortunate who will have little to celebrate on the 25th.

Please consider the AMAR Foundation‘s appeal this year which highlights the plight of Yazidi teens whose young lives have been ruined by ISIS.

More than one third of the 6,800 Yazidis abducted in Sinjar in 2014 were children under 14, We want to reach as many of these children as possible and help them reclaim their childhoods.

Please click here to help us help them.

(Source: AMAR)

GKP launches second Share Buyback Programme

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided an operational and corporate update. 

Operational

  • Average gross production for the year up to 30 November 2019 of 32,127 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”).
  • November gross production averaged 40,582 bopd, with current production rates from the field at c.42,000 bopd.
  • GKP is therefore on track to meet its original gross production guidance for 2019 of 32,000-38,000 bopd.
  • The first well of the drilling campaign, SH-12 came onstream on 13 November. During commissioning, the well produced at rates up to 4,600 bopd, in line with expectations and is currently producing at c.4,000 bopd. 
  • The second well in the drilling campaign, SH-9 is a crucial part of the long-term field gas management plan and is designed to assess the gas reinjection potential of the Jurassic formation. The well, which was spudded on 19 October, encountered a faulted section requiring the well to be side-tracked to the Jurassic reservoir target.
  • The SH-9 side-track necessitates a revision to the drilling schedule. Assuming a duration of one month for the side-track, the Company now expects to reach the 55,000 bopd gross production target at Shaikan in Q3 2020.
  • The planned maintenance and debottlenecking shutdown at PF-2 was completed safely during October.
  • The PF-1 export pipeline is complete. Full oil export operations are expected to commence in the next 24 hours marking the end of export by trucking from the Shaikan Field.
  • Operations at Shaikan remain safe and secure, with no Lost Time Incidents (“LTI”) recorded in over 500 days.

Corporate

  • Cash balance of $206 million as at 9 December 2019.
  • With a robust cash position and the Company’s confidence in its delivery of the Shaikan project, a second share buyback programme for a further $25 million has been approved and an initial tranche of $15 million will be initiated today.

Jón Ferrier, CEO, commented:

The Company has made significant progress on a number of fronts; with the successful addition of SH-12 to the PF-2 production inventory and drilling of the gas appraisal well SH-9 where operations continue.  The imminent start of export through the PF-1 pipeline means all production from Shaikan will now be exported directly via pipeline, benefitting safety, reducing environmental impact and improving netbacks. 

“We are pleased to confirm that we are on track to achieve our initial average production guidance for 2019, and whilst the need to side-track SH-9 has slightly impacted our timing guidance for delivering 55,000 bopd, we remain on course to achieve further significant production growth in 2020.  

We are also pleased to announce the launch of a second $25 million share buyback programme, which is in line with our focus on returning value to shareholders, whilst retaining the capital necessary to grow the business.

(Source: GKP)

Genel Energy Chairman Steps Down

Following the announcement of 16 May 2019, in which it was stated that Steve Whyte (pictured), Chairman of Genel Energy, would not be standing for re-election at the 2020 Annual General Meeting, the Company announces that Steve has now resigned with immediate effect.

George Rose, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, will act as interim Chairman until the ongoing search for a permanent Chairman is completed.

George Rose, interim Chairman of Genel, said:

When Steve joined Genel the Company had net debt of almost $150 million and unpaid oil receivables of over $400 million. He was a driving force behind the Receivable Settlement Agreement, which has transformed Genel’s financial position. We now have a stronger portfolio with exciting growth options and the right team to deliver them.

“Our highly cash generative oil production more than funds this growth, with sufficient cash left over to pay a material and progressive dividend. I would like to thank Steve for his efforts at Genel and look forward to seeing his future successes.”

(Source: Genel Energy)

Donate to Iraqi Children Foundation on Giving Tuesday

The children of Iraq are in crisis. An estimated 800,000 were orphaned by the end of the Iraq War.

The invasion by ISIS displaced more than 1.3 million. Thousands work on the streets, in homes, or in businesses.

They are why the Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) exists: to intervene on their behalf with love and hope.

On Giving Tuesday, 3rd December, all new monthly donors will receive a 100% match on their first donation, and the ICF is competing for a share of $500,000 in matching funds.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Oil Exports Slightly Up in October

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for November of 105,014,772 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 293,962 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 334,650 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.282 billion at an average price of $59.821 per barrel.

October export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Tech Forum at the IBBC Dubai Conference

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is delighted to be holding a Tech forum within the main Conference at Address Hotel in Dubai on December 8th.

Principal among the speakers are Mr Yassin Bhija of GE Healthcare and Mr Uwe Bork of Siemens Healthcare who are driving the healthtech panel – exploring the hot topic of ‘How best to Develop primary and general healthcare in Iraq.’

Iraq has structural and tactical issues in providing universal healthcare at all levels of delivery and in all locations and classes. The two leading healthcare companies will discuss how tech solutions in general can address the issue and how their particular capabilities contribute to the general provision of healthcare.

Following on the Education Tech panel, will be discussing ‘The importance of Digital literacy in Iraq’, led by Google’s Mr Martin Roeke, Dr Victoria Lindsay of the British Council and Mr Timothy Fisher CEO of Stirling Education.

The Forum is sponsored by Innovest Middle East, an investment company that invests in startups during their scaling up stage in key markets in the Middle East region. With representations in Lebanon, Dubai, KSA, and Iraq, Innovest Middle East has played a key role in driving the startup ecosystem through direct investments as well as through supporting incubation and acceleration platforms collaboration with governmental and international bodies. In Iraq, Innovest Middle East launched IRAQPRENEURS in 2018, in collaboration with the World Bank, Central Bank of Iraq and leading private organizations, which grew to become one of the leading nationwide entrepreneurship empowerment platform in Iraq.

Mr Bassam Falah, CEO of Innovest will be addressing the delegates on the progress in support of the Iraqi start up ecology.

More speakers are expected to confirm.

For more information and to register, please contact london@webuildiraq.org.

(Source: IBBC)