DNO Production Increases

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced a 29 percent year-on-year increase in its net Company Working Interest (CWI) production in 2019 to 104,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) on the back of acquisitions and a record drilling campaign.

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, production from the two fields in the Tawke license climbed from 113,100 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2018 (79,700 bopd CWI) to 124,000 bopd in 2019 (87,400 bopd CWI). Production of 122,800 bopd in the fourth quarter of 2019 was up 3,000 bopd from the previous quarter. The Company is operator of the Tawke license with a 75 percent interest.

At Tawke, 2019 production stood at 68,800 bopd, with wells drilled last year contributing 13 percent of field production at yearend. At Peshkabir, 2019 production stood at 55,200 bopd, with wells drilled in 2019 contributing 40 percent of field production at yearend.

Even though Tawke is now a mature field, we are continuously finding ways to slow its decline while teasing additional production from the newer Peshkabir field, all the while probing for other opportunities in Kurdistan,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani.

Elsewhere in Kurdistan, DNO reported a discovery in the Baeshiqa-2 exploration well last November after flowing variable rates of light oil and sour gas to surface from the upper part of Triassic Kurra Chine B reservoir following acid stimulation. Further testing of this and several other Jurassic and Triassic zones will determine the next steps towards appraisal and assessment of commerciality. DNO holds a 32 percent interest and operatorship of the Baeshiqa license.

Meanwhile, the Peshkabir-to-Tawke gas injection project designed to increase oil recovery rates at Tawke while eliminating flaring at Peshkabir will be completed in March 2020. Once completed, CO2 emissions from DNO’s operated fields will average 7 kilograms per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) produced, compared to an average of 9 kilograms per boe on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and a global average of 18 kilograms per boe.

DNO retained a strong cash balance of USD 480 million at yearend 2019 plus USD 144 million in marketable securities. Following a delay in export payments last month from the Kurdistan Regional Government to oil operators, DNO has since yearend received payment for its August oil sales totaling USD 52 million net to the Company.

(Source: DNO)

New Head of Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD)

By John Lee.

A former head of Iraq’s state-run Missan Oil Company (MOC) has reportedly been appointed to run the Ministry of Oil’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD).

According to Reuters, Ali Maarij, who ran the MOC until becoming a member of parliament in 2014, will take over from Abul Mahdi al-Ameedi, who reached retirement age late last year.

The PCLD oversees oil contracts and negotiates energy deals with international companies.

(Source: Reuters)

New Well at Taq Taq is Close to Production

Genel Energy has announce an update on activity at the Taq Taq field (Genel 44% working interest), as testing of the TT-34 well is nearing completion.

The well has produced from all zones tested, at a maximum combined flow rate of over 3,900 bopd with 28/64″ choke. With the inclusion of test production, gross production from the Taq Taq field is currently c.13,650 bopd.

Individual zone testing is now underway, which will determine the long-term production strategy. Genel expects the well to be placed on production around the middle of January with an initial flow rate of 1,500-2,000 bopd.

The rig has moved to drill the TT-35 well, also on the northern flank of the field, which is now preparing to spud.

(Source: Genel)

Chevron pulls US staff from Kurdistan

By John Lee.

Chevron has reportedly removed all of its American oil workers from Iraqi Kurdistan as a security precaution, following the killing of Iranian Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The company currently has interests in the Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks.

(Sources: Reuters, CNN)

Iraq seeks bids for Iraq-Jordan Oil Pipeline

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited bids fto build the Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline.

The first phase will be built on the Iraqi side, stretching 700 km from Rumaila to Haditha. This will have a capacity of 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd). This will be built on an engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPCF) contract model.

The second phase, on the Jordanian side, will run 900 km from Haditha to the port of Aqaba. This section will be built on a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model.

Bids will be accepted from qualified companies up to the end of May, with a decision to be made by the end of 2020.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Oil Exports Slightly Down in December

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for November of 106,265,307 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.428 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 3.500 million bpd exported in November.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 103,090,550 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,827,050 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 347,707 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.700 billion at an average price of $63.051 per barrel.

November export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Production Resumes at Nassiriyah Oil Field

By John Lee.

Iraq has resumed production at the Nassiriyah oil field on Monday, a day after protesters forced it to halt operations.

Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said that the roads had previously become impassable for workers to get to the field, but employees returned to work after authorities cleared away protesters.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Netherlands assists Vulnerable Displaced Persons in Iraq

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes a new donation of USD 5.6 million from the Kingdom of the Netherlands for 2019 and 2020 to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and Syrian refugees in Iraq.

This contribution is part of the global PROSPECTS Partnership aiming at joining partners’ efforts to develop a new paradigm in responding to forced displacement crises through the involvement of development actors. While Iraq recovers from conflict, the needs of its population diversify. Some 4.4 million people have returned to their homes and are restarting their lives; however, the conditions for sustainable return are not yet met across all the country.

Continued assistance for the 1.4 million displaced Iraqis and over 286,000 refugees, and the host communities, is essential to ensure a stable and peaceful recovery. The generous contribution from the Kingdom of the Netherlands will ensure the provision of legal assistance and civil documentation to internally displaced persons across Iraq, along with the provision of specialized individual and group-based psychosocial support for children.

In addition, the donation will contribute to improve the access to formal primary and secondary education for Syrian refugee children in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. H.E. Mr. Eric Strating (pictured), Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Iraq, emphasized the importance of the urgent recovery and strengthened resilience of those who have been affected and displaced by conflict. “If we truly want to assist Iraq in achieving durable stability, we cannot leave anyone behind. Assistance in the field of civil documentation, access to education, but also psychosocial support, is part of the most basic needs for people who are trying to rebuild their lives.”

Within this context, the Netherlands initiated the PROSPECTS Partnership in Iraq, aimed at strengthened cooperation of humanitarian and development partners, in order to achieve durable solutions for the 1.4 million displaced Iraqi’s and the 286,000 refugees on Iraqi soil.The recent Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment conducted from June to August 2019, shows that nearly 2.9 million individuals, including camp-based and out-of-camp IDPs as well as returnees, are missing at least one form of civil documentation.

With the generous donation from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNHCR will continue assisting IDPs to access legal assistance and civil documentation in collaboration with the Government of Iraq, helping them establish their legal identity, access public services, return to their homes, and exercise their basic rights.

Moreover, this contribution will support the provision of case management and psychosocial support for children survivors of violence, exploitation and abuse, and will complement education assistance aimed at ensuring access to formal education opportunities and obtaining official learning accreditation for Syrian refugee children.

“While the situation in Iraq has notably improved during the past years and the country is steadily transitioning and advancing into a new post-conflict phase, we need to continue supporting its people in their recovery and national reconciliation efforts. Particularly the more than 1.4 million Iraqis and over 286,000 refugees still affected by displacement and wishing to rebuild their lives. This generous contribution enables us to be responsive and compassionate with those that continue relying heavily on humanitarian assistance. With ongoing support, we will stand with all those affected by displacement in Iraq until complete recovery is achieved.” said Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR Representative in Iraq.

(Source: UN)

Iraq EITI issues latest Annual Report

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Issues its latest Annual Report

Iraq Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (IEITI) issued a few days ago its latest annual report, it is about 2017 and it is the ninth since formation of IEITI. Ernst & Young (EY) was contracted to prepare the report; EY prepared IEITI annual reports for 2011, 2012 and 2016.

The report was issued as per the deadline set by EITI, and was issued a few months after EITI reinstates Iraq status as a compliant country; the suspension took effect in October 2017. Hence and as expected, the report was aimed at addressing issues that led to the suspension and also testifies the concerted efforts by Iraqi authorities, particularly IEITI to attaining that objective.

The annual report was released, for the first time, rather simultaneously in Arabic and English; both texts were posted on IEITI website. The report is long (154 pages) comprises seven section, executive summary, introduction by IEITI’ CEO and four annexes.

In preparing this review I used the English version with crosschecking the Arabic when necessary.

As I did in my reviews of all previous reports, I went thoroughly through the report and made many remarks on its methodology, findings, data, narratives as well as substantive and format maters.

To begin with, most narratives of the current report is repetition, mostly copy & paste, of 2016 report and its “Annex” that was released early 2018 except, of course, the data relating to 2017. The remarks on the current report are detailed and many; they are thematically grouped in the following categories:*

  • One: Weak quality control of data and information;
  • Two: Confused and inconsistent methodology;
  • Three: Data reconciliation;
  • Four: Data discrepancies;
  • Five: Annual comparison;
  • Six: Information and data that need re-checking and correction;
  • Seven: KRG data and information;
  • Eight: The mining sector.

Considering the finding of the review, it becomes necessary to address these findings, check the accuracy and relevance of data and information, revise the entire report and produce a new version.

* Summary of the review was written in Arabic and was circulated within my network of contacts.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.