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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GKP Shares Rise following Update

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) closed the day up more than 5 percent on Wednesday, after the Kurdistan-focused oil producer provided an operational and corporate update to the markets.

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

"I am pleased to report that throughout 2020, Gulf Keystone successfully managed the challenging operating environment delivering record annual average production of over 36,600 bopd and in December, record monthly average production of over 43,000 bopd.

"Planned debottlenecking works have increased PF-1 production capacity to more than 30,000 bopd and the Company expects to deliver average gross production in 2021 of 40,000 to 44,000 bopd. We look forward to updating guidance once conditions allow resumption of the 55,000 bopd expansion.

"I would like to thank the team at GKP for their dedication and professionalism in what has been a challenging year for the E&P sector. I look forward to working closely with my successor, Jon Harris, to effect a smooth handover of responsibilities and I am confident of the continuing success of the Company."


  • GKP's continued strong focus on safety resulted in no Lost Time Incidents during 2020.
  • The Company has effectively managed to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our staff and contractors and ongoing production operations.
  • In 2020, average gross production at Shaikan was 36,625 bopd, exceeding the top end of the guidance range and the highest annual average production rate to date from the field.
  • The previously announced PF-1 plant debottlenecking work has delivered production capacity in excess of 30,000 bopd.
  • As a result, Shaikan Field production has increased and is currently c.44,000 bopd.


  • Total cash received from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") during 2020 for payments of crude oil sales was $129 million ($101 million net).
  • As a result of increased production and the recent improvement in the oil price, the December 2020 crude oil sales invoice submitted to the KRG was $18.0 million ($14.1 million net), up 65% from the previous month.
  • As at 12 January 2021, the Company had a cash balance of $147 million.


  • Jon Harris to join as Chief Executive Officer and Board member on 18 January 2021.


  • Guidance for 2021 is: 40,000 to 44,000 bopd average gross production, $15 to $20 million net Capex and $2.5 to $2.9/bbl Opex.
  • Guidance will be updated once conditions allow well workovers and/or the restart of the drilling programme to achieve 55,000 bopd.
  • Following receipt of the previously announced proposal to repay the arrears from the outstanding November 2019 to February 2020 invoices, totalling $73.3 million (net), the Company continues to engage with the KRG and will provide an update in due course.
  • The Company remains committed to maintaining its strong financial position and, as conditions continue to improve, will look to return to a balance of growth focussed field development investments and shareholder distributions.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

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Iraq Doubles Capacity at Salahuddin-2 Refinery

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has doubled capacity at its Salahuddin-2 refinery, part of the Baiji complex, from 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 140,000 bpd.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said he plans to restore capacity at the plant to the 280,000 bpd level at which it was operating before it was damaged by the Islamic State group (IS).

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

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Iraq signs $2bn Oil Deal with Chinese Firm

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly awarded a Chinese company a deal which would see it paying $2 billion upfront for a year's supply of oil.

Alaa al-Yasiri, General Manager of State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) told Iraqi News Agency (INA) that a Chinese company had won the contract ahead of a European company, but did not identify the company.

Bloomberg had previously reported that China's ZhenHua Oil was poised to sign the contract.

More here and here.

(Sources: Bloomberg, FT, INA)

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