KRG Approves DNO Purchase of Exxon Stake in Baeshiqa

By John Lee.

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced that the Kurdistan Regional Government has approved the Company's acquisition of ExxonMobil's remaining 32 percent interest in the Baeshiqa license, doubling DNO's stake.

In parallel, commerciality has been declared on the license with plans submitted for fast-track development including early production from previously drilled but suspended wells.

DNO has already demonstrated proof of concept of producing these wells through temporary test facilities, having trucked some 15,000 barrels of 40 degree API and 22 degree API oil for export in 2019 and 2020 from the Baeshiqa-2 and Zartik-1 discovery wells.

Following the transaction, the joint venture comprises DNO as operator with a 64 percent (80 percent paying) interest, the Turkish Energy Company (TEC) with a 16 percent (20 percent paying) interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government with a 20 percent carried interest.

Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO's Executive Chairman, said:

"This acquisition and plans for fast-track development underscore our belief in the potential of the Baeshiqa license and more broadly our long-term commitment to Kurdistan.

"Once we get the green light from the authorities to proceed, first production will be a matter of months rather than years."

DNO's 3,204 meters discovery well, Baeshiqa-2, tested hydrocarbons to surface from multiple stacked Jurassic and Triassic zones. Two zones flowed naturally at rates averaging over 3,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of light gravity oil each and another averaged over 1,000 bopd also of light gravity oil. DNO drilled Zartik-1, the second discovery well, 16 kilometers to the southeast of Baeshiqa-2, to a depth of 3,021 meters. This well tested hydrocarbons to surface from several Jurassic zones, with one zone flowing naturally at rates averaging 2,000 bopd of medium gravity oil.

DNO acquired its first 32 percent interest and assumed operatorship of the Baeshiqa license from ExxonMobil in 2018. As consideration for both acquisitions DNO has covered ExxonMobil's share of exploration costs since January 2019 and the seller will receive payment of USD 15 million.

In addition to the 327-square kilometer Baeshiqa license, DNO operates the Tawke license containing the Tawke and Peshkabir fields in Kurdistan. Combined production from these fields averaged 110,300 bopd in the second quarter of 2021.

(Source: DNO)

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Genel Energy Increases Dividend

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has increased its interim dividend, announced in its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2021:

Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"Genel continues to deliver on its strategy and demonstrate the merits of its business model. Capital investment made last year, despite the low oil price and over $150 million of deferred payments, has meant this period has benefitted from the addition of oil from Sarta and increased production from Peshkabir, with production having increased in line with guidance.

"This high-margin production will generate sufficient cash flow in 2021 to more than cover investment in growth and the increased dividend, and we are set to end the year in a net cash position.

"Our appraisal campaign at our exciting growth assets Sarta and Qara Dagh is now well underway, and we look forward to the results of three of these high-potential wells later this year. Given the cash generation of the business, our strong balance sheet, and the resilience of our business model, we are fulfilling our aim of paying a progressive dividend by increasing the interim payment."

Results summary ($ million unless stated)

H1 2021 H1 2020 FY 2020
Average Brent oil price ($/bbl) 65 40 42
Production (bopd, working interest)  32,760 32,100  31,980
Revenue  151.5 88.4  159.7
EBITDAX1  123.1 65.1  114.6
  Depreciation and amortisation  (81.8) (82.6)  (153.7)
  Exploration expense - (1.3) (2.2)
  Impairment of oil and gas assets - (286.3) (286.3)
  Impairment of receivables - (34.9) (36.9)
Operating profit / (loss) 41.3 (340.0) (364.5)
Cash flow from operating activities 91.1 85.5 129.4
Capital expenditure 58.2 58.5 109.7
Free cash flow2 22.2 6.5 (4.4)
Cash 266.4 355.3 354.5
Total debt 280.0 300.0 280.0
Net (debt) / cash3 (2.2) 57.2 6.2
Basic EPS (¢ per share) 9.3 (128.9) (152.0)
Dividends declared for the period (¢ per share) 6 5 15
  1. EBITDAX is operating profit / (loss) adjusted for the add back of depreciation and amortisation, exploration expense, impairment of property, plant and equipment, impairment of intangible assets and impairment of receivables
  2. Free cash flow is reconciled on page 10
  3. Reported cash less IFRS debt (page 11)

Highlights

  • Strong cash generation from low-cost oil production:
    • Net production averaged 32,760 bopd in H1 2021, slightly above the average in the prior year and in line with guidance (H1 2020: 32,100 bopd)
    • Low production cost of $3.7/bbl, oil price increase, and restart of the override helped deliver an overall margin from our production assets of $111 million
    • Free cash flow for the period was $22 million, despite the Kurdistan Regional Government ('KRG') changing its payment schedule from one to two months in arrears, moving c.$30 million that was due in H1 into July
    • $123 million of cash proceeds were received in H1 2021 (H1 2020: $110 million)
  • Investing in growth:
    • Our high-potential drilling campaign is well underway, with the QD-2 well at Qara Dagh having spud in April, and the Sarta-5 well in June
    • $58 million of capital expenditure in H1 2021, with activity accelerating in H2
  • Financial strength to underpin a material and progressive dividend:
    • Cash of $266 million, with net debt of $2.2 million
    • Due to the rise in the oil price boosting expected cash generation, and Management's confidence in Genel's future prospects, interim dividend increased to 6¢ per share (H1 2020: 5¢ per share)
  • A socially responsible contributor to the global energy mix:
    • Zero lost time injuries ('LTI') and zero tier one loss of primary containment ('LOPC') events at Genel and TTOPCO operations. Now no LTIs since 2015, with over 14 million work hours since the last incident, and no LOPCs since 2017
    • Second GRI compliant Sustainability Report issued today

Outlook

  • Production guidance for 2021 of slightly above the 2020 average of 31,980 bopd maintained
  • 2021 capital expenditure guidance maintained at $150 million to $200 million, with the expectation that expenditure will now be around the middle of this range, following delays in approvals from the KRG and ongoing challenges relating to COVID-19 causing some planned activity to move to Q1 2022
  • High-impact appraisal results to come in 2021:
    • Results from the QD-2 and Sarta-5 wells are expected around the end of Q3 2021
    • The Sarta-1D well is set to spud in coming days
    • Sarta-6 well is scheduled to get underway immediately following the completion of drilling at Sarta-5
  • Genel expects to generate free cash flow in 2021 and end the year in a net cash position, despite material investment in growth

More here.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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KRG Bureaucracy Delays DNO Investment

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has reported operating profit of USD 61 million in the quarter ending 30 June 2021, its second consecutive profitable quarter since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Revenues totaled USD 184 million, up USD 14 million from the previous quarter, as higher oil and gas prices more than compensated for lower North Sea volumes sold.

Gross operated production at the Company's flagship Tawke license in Kurdistan averaged 110,300 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in the second quarter, of which the Peshkabir field contributed 63,000 bopd and the Tawke field 47,300 bopd. Of the total, 82,700 bopd were net to DNO's interest during the quarter.

DNO's North Sea net production dropped to 9,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the second quarter, primarily due to planned summer maintenance shutdowns at Marulk and Alve and infill drilling at Ula and Tambar. The Company expects the North Sea contribution to average 13,000 boepd for the year.

In the wake of an ongoing reorganization of Kurdistan's Ministry of Natural Resources, the Company has experienced extended delays to the final approval of its 2021 Tawke field work program and budget as well as to the approvals necessary to fast track early production from the Baeshiqa license. The delays are expected to defer USD 50 million in 2021 DNO net spending in Kurdistan which could have generated up to 15,000 bopd gross production across DNO's three operated fields (Tawke, Peshkabir and Baeshiqa) going into 2022.

With no new wells coming on production at the Tawke field in more than a year, the natural production decline has been partially offset by pressure support from reinjection of over 20 million cubic feet of gas per day from the Peshkabir field in addition to workovers and interventions of existing wells.

"We are eager to invest and produce more oil in Kurdistan," said DNO's executive chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. "In nearly two decades of operations in Kurdistan, DNO has confronted and overcome multiple challenges and we are well positioned to continue to do so," he added.

In the North Sea, DNO maintains an active drilling program in 2021, including two appraisal wells on previous discoveries and three exploration wells, the first of which has been drilled leading to a discovery. In addition, the Company plans 10 development wells this year.

Recently, the DNO-operated Brasse project selected the Equinor-operated Oseberg facilities as the preferred development host. With total field reserves of 35 million boe and a relatively modest topside construction scope on Oseberg, Brasse has robust project economics based on a 2022 project sanction target.

With an operational cash flow of USD 160 million, an increase of 135 percent from the first quarter, the Company reduced its bond debt to USD 700 million through a USD 100 million partial bond redemption. DNO exited the quarter with a net interest-bearing debt of USD 396 million, the lowest level since yearend 2018.

DNO received USD 159 million in the second quarter from Kurdistan, up from USD 75 million in the first quarter of 2021. Additional payments this week bring the total 2021 receipts from Kurdistan to USD 290 million year-to-date. The arrears built up as a result of Kurdistan's withholding of payment of certain invoices to DNO in 2019 and 2020 total USD 214 million, excluding any interest.

(Source: DNO)

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Genel Confirms Increased year-on-year Production

Genel Energy has issued the following statement relating to the Company's Annual General Meeting ('AGM'), which is being held today:

Bill Higgs (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"The addition of production at Sarta and the robust performance of Tawke year-to-date has increased year-on-year production in line with guidance. With a strong balance sheet, our high-potential appraisal drilling campaign is now underway following the spud of the QD-2 well at Qara Dagh. With the increase in oil price and beginning of catch up payments from the KRG, despite our investment in growth and payment of a material dividend, we expect to end 2021 with a material cash position."

"As detailed in our full-year results, 2020 illustrated the resilience of our business, and laid the foundations for a year of growth in 2021, with material drilling catalysts.

"Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 in the operating environment in 2021, we continue to carry out our work programmes across all producing and appraisal assets as we aim to deliver on the significant near and long-term potential in the portfolio.

"Continuing robust production at the Tawke PSC, coupled with the addition of production from our fourth producing field at Sarta, means that working interest production averaged 33,100 bopd in the first four months of 2021, an increase of 4% compared to the 2020 average, in line with guidance.

"DNO ASA, as operator of the Tawke PSC (Genel 25% working interest), today issued an update on licence activity, where spend early in the year on drilling of new wells and workovers of existing ones helped sustain gross operated production at 112,000 bopd in the first quarter, up from 110,000 bopd in the previous quarter. The Peshkabir field contributed 61,400 bopd, and Tawke 50,600 bopd.

"12 wells are forecast on the licence in 2021, of which nine are at Tawke and three at Peshkabir. DNO has increased gross operated Tawke licence full-year 2021 production guidance to 110,000 bopd.

"Genel's high-potential drilling campaign has now begun, with the QD-2 well having spud on 19 April 2021. This well is set to appraise the crest of a 50 km long structure at Qara Dagh, around 10 km from the location of the QD-1 well, which flowed light oil in 2011, despite being drilled down dip and in a sub-optimal manner in an era predating Genel and Chevron's much evolved understanding of the subsurface situation and required drilling strategy. Results from the QD-2 well are anticipated in late Q3 2021. As we step up our work at the field, we are further ramping up our social investment programme, working with local companies to deliver projects that respond to the requirements of local communities.

"Sarta is producing at a mechanically constrained gross rate of c.8,500 bopd, pending ongoing surface facilities de-bottlenecking. These actions are expected to result in production once again reaching c.10,000 bopd in the near future.

"Mobilisation of two drilling rigs at the licence is now underway, ahead of the spudding of the Sarta-5 and Sarta-1D wells next month. The Sarta-5 well is set to test multiple reservoir intervals up-dip of the Sarta-2 and Sarta-3 producing wells, and results are expected around the end of Q3. A second rig will drill the Sarta-1D well, a sidetrack well from the Sarta-1 well pad, with results expected at a similar time to Sarta-5. Following the construction of a flow line to the early production facility, production is expected from this well around the end of 2021. With the Sarta-6 well set to be drilled immediately after Sarta-5, analysis of pilot production data and the results of the appraisal well programme will provide an enhanced understanding of the greater resource potential of Sarta and inform the optimal development plan to exploit it.

"The continued oil price strength has helped to further increase the value of our high-margin production. Our cash position at the end of April was $266 million, a net debt position of $3 million, with $36 million owed by the KRG for production in March 2021. Given our expectation that payments will remain timely, we forecast ending 2021 with a material net cash position.

"This financial strength supports the paying of a material dividend, as we continue to offer investors a compelling mix of growth and returns. Pending approval of our final dividend of 10¢ per share at today's AGM, the ex-dividend date is 13 May, with payment on 14 June 2021."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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DNO Returns to Profitability, Ups Tawke Production Guidance

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today reported operating profit of USD 66 million in the first quarter of 2021, following four quarters of losses triggered by market perturbations from the global Covid pandemic. The turnaround was driven by solid production, cost optimization, higher oil prices and regularization of payments from Kurdistan.

The Company stepped up spend early in the year with drilling of new wells and workovers of existing ones in its flagship Tawke license to sustain gross operated production from the Tawke and Peshkabir fields at 112,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in the first quarter, up from 110,000 bopd in the previous quarter. Net production attributable to the Company's interest across the portfolio, including from DNO's North Sea oil and gas assets, stood just shy of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

In another positive development during the quarter, Kurdistan initiated principal payments towards Tawke license 2019 and 2020 withheld entitlement and override amounts, reducing the outstanding balance due DNO from USD 259 million to USD 239 million. If oil prices and license production remain around current levels through 2021, some two-thirds of the remaining arrears will be recovered by the end of the year.

"DNO, like our peers, is positioned for strong cash flow in 2021 with the firming up of oil demand and prices," said DNO's Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. "Barring another pandemic derailing of global economic activity, we will repair our balance sheet, regroup in person and then fly like a bat out of hell in pursuit of opportunity," he added.

DNO exited the first quarter with a cash balance of USD 477 million and as a first step towards shoring up its balance sheet, the Company yesterday announced it would retire USD 100 million in bond debt on 1 June 2021 by exercising a call option on the USD 400 million DNO02 bond.

The Company has budgeted full year operational spend of USD 700 million, including 12 Tawke license wells of which nine in Tawke and three in Peshkabir. Gross operated Tawke license full-year 2021 production guidance has accordingly been increased to 110,000 bopd. DNO operates and has a 75 percent stake in the Tawke license, with partner Genel Energy plc holding the balance.

DNO will participate in an active drilling program in the North Sea with five exploration and eight development wells during the balance of 2021.

(Source: DNO)

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DNO announces Ramp-Up of Oil Production in Iraq

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today reported receipt of USD 54.0 million net to the Company from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), of which USD 35.2 million represents DNO's entitlement share of February 2021 crude oil deliveries to the export market from the Tawke license in Kurdistan.

Of the balance, USD 4.6 million is an override payment equivalent to three percent of gross February 2021 Tawke license revenues under the August 2017 receivables settlement agreement and USD 14.2 million is a payment towards the Company's arrears relating to withheld payment of Tawke license 2019 and 2020 entitlement and override invoices.

Following receipt of the latest arrears payment, the outstanding balance has dropped from USD 259.0 million at the end of 2020 to USD 238.6 million.

DNO operates and has a 75 percent stake in the Tawke license, which contains the Tawke and Peshkabir fields, with partner Genel Energy plc holding the balance.

With resumption of payments, the partners have stepped up drilling of new wells at Peshkabir and workovers of existing wells at Tawke in 2021, raising gross operated license production from an average of 110,300 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2020 to 110,900 bopd in January, 112,000 bopd in February, 113,100 bopd in March and 115,500 bopd month-to-date in April.

(Source: DNO)

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Genel Energy Updates on Oil Reserves

Genel Energy has issued an update on oil reserves and resources across its portfolio.

Bill Higgs (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"The quality of our reserves is the foundation of our resilient business model, providing us with low-cost production that can generate cash for many years to come.

"Drilling at Sarta this year has the potential to add to our reserves, with Qara Dagh adding the possibility of opening up another field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as we look to further build our cash generative portfolio for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Net oil reserves (MMbbls) 1P 2P 3P
31 December 2019 68.8 123.8 194.9
Production (11.7) (11.7) (11.7)
Technical revisions 12.2 5.0 (6.0)
31 December 2020 69.4 117.2 177.2

International petroleum consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton assess that, at the Tawke field on the Tawke licence (Genel 25% working interest), gross year-end 2020 1P reserves stood at 173 MMbbls, compared to 176 MMbbls at year-end 2019, after adjusting for production of 21 MMbbls and an upward technical revision of 18 MMbbls. Tawke field 2P reserves stood at 245 MMbbls (261 MMbbls at end-2019) and 3P reserves at 359 MMbbls (376 MMbbls at end-2019).

The Enhanced Oil Recovery project at the Tawke field has started to deliver a positive impact on production. Pending further work on the project, the 23 MMbbls of 2P and 45 MMbbls of 3P gross reserves that DeGolyer and MacNaughton previously included in their figures continues to be maintained by Genel in 2C and 3C resources.

At Peshkabir, also on the Tawke licence (Genel 25% working interest), year-end 2020 gross 1P reserves were assessed at 61 MMbbls (51 MMbbls at end-2019), 2P reserves at 116 MMbbls (125 MMbbls at end-2019) and 3P reserves at 201 MMbbls (220 MMbbls at end-2019). The upward revision of 1P and 2P reserves by 29 MMbbls more than offsets production of 19 MMbbls, and is the result of continued outstanding field performance in 2020.

At Taq Taq (44% working interest, joint operator), 1P gross reserves stood at 18 MMbbls at year-end 2020 (20 MMbbls at end-2019), following a minor technical upward revision of 1 MMbbls and production of 4 MMbbls. Gross 2P reserves stood at 33 MMbbls (44 MMbbls at end-2019), with a downward revision of 8 MMbbls following a reduction to the number of wells planned for the future, and their associated expected productivity. McDaniel & Associates carried out the independent assessment of the Taq Taq licence.

Genel's gross 2P reserve estimate relating to Phase 1A of the Sarta development remains unchanged at year-end 2020, standing at 34 MMbbls.

CONVERTING RESOURCES TO RESERVES

Net oil resources (MMbbls) 1C 2C 3C
31 December 2019 66.5 152.0 345.8
Technical revisions (8.6) (8.6) (8.0)
31 December 2020 57.9 143.4 337.8

There has been no change to the ERCE view on Sarta (30% working interest), with an estimated mid-case total recoverable oil resource of 593 MMbbls, of which 258 MMbbls are classified as 2C resource. Production performance in 2021, and the results of the upcoming three well campaign in 2021, will inform the quantity of conversion of these resources into reserves.

At Qara Dagh (40% working interest, operator) the QD-2 well will test the crestal portion of the prospect, which has a mean prospective resource estimated by Genel at c.400 MMbbls. Genel continues to estimate that the downdip segment tested by the QD-1 well defines a 2C resource of 47 MMbbls.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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DNO Buys Exxon’s Stake in Iraqi Oilfield

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has announced the acquisition of ExxonMobil's 32 percent interest in the Baeshiqa license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, doubling DNO's operated stake to 64 percent (80 percent paying interest), pending government approval.

The Company plans to continue an exploration and appraisal program on the license while fast tracking early production from existing wells in 2021.

DNO has already demonstrated proof of concept of producing through temporary test facilities, having delivered 15,000 barrels of 40o API oil and 22o API oil for export from the Baeshiqa-2 and Zartik-1 wells, respectively.

In November 2019 DNO issued a notice of discovery on the Baeshiqa license after flowing hydrocarbons from several Jurassic and Triassic zones to surface in the 3,204 meters (2,549 meters TVDSS) Baeshiqa-2 exploration well. Following acid stimulation, the zone flowed variable rates of light oil and sour gas.

Two zones flowed naturally at rates averaging over 3,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of light gravity oil each and another averaged over 1,000 bopd also of light gravity oil. Subsequent analyses on surface samples collected during testing confirm that the Triassic reservoirs contain saturated oil with a gas cap.

An exploration well was completed in 2020 on a second structure (Zartik) some 15 kilometers southeast of the Baeshiqa-2 discovery well. The 3,021 meters (2,322 meters TVDSS) well tested hydrocarbons to surface from several Jurassic zones, with the uppermost zone flowing naturally at rates averaging over 2,000 bopd of medium gravity oil.

The Company currently estimates gross license contingent recoverable resources from three of the tested zones in the two wells ranging from 12 million barrels of oil (mmbbls) (1C) to 156 mmbbls (3C), with a 2C volume of 43 mmbbls.

"By increasing our stake in the Baeshiqa license now, we demonstrate our belief in its ultimate potential," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani (pictured), DNO's Executive Chairman. "Following the stabilization of oil prices and export payments in Kurdistan, DNO is stepping up spending on new opportunities," he added.

DNO acquired its first 32 percent interest from ExxonMobil and assumed operatorship of the Baeshiqa license in 2018.

The 324 square kilometer license is situated 60 kilometers west of Erbil and 20 kilometers east of Mosul. The license contains two large structures, Baeshiqa and Zartik, which have multiple independent stacked target reservoir systems, including in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic. The remaining partners in the license include TEC [Turkish Energy Company] with a 20 percent paying (16 percent net) interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government with a 20 percent carried interest.

In addition to the Baeshiqa license, DNO also operates the Tawke license containing the Tawke and Peshkabir fields in Kurdistan. Gross operated production from the Tawke license averaged 110,300 bopd in 2020.

(Source: DNO)

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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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DNO boosts Kurdistan Oil Output in Q3

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today reported boosting Kurdistan output to 113,700 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in the third quarter, reversing declines triggered by oil market convulsions in the wake of Covid-19.

Production from the DNO-operated Tawke and Peshkabir fields was up 12 percent from the prior quarter following a campaign of quick turnaround, low cost well interventions and the startup of the Kurdistan region of Iraq's first enhanced oil recovery project.

Both fields have outperformed expectations and DNO projects replacement of a significant share of its reserves produced this year in Kurdistan, even as the Company scaled back drilling of new wells to meet a one-third budget reduction in response to lower oil prices and a four-month payment hiatus in Kurdistan.

The Peshkabir-to-Tawke gas capture and reinjection project, in operation since mid-year, is continuing to cut gas flaring and greenhouse emissions by half at Peshkabir to 7 kilograms CO2 equivalent for each barrel of oil equivalent produced, while unlocking additional oil at Tawke. To date, two billion cubic feet of otherwise flared gas have been reinjected with positive reservoir response, adding up to 5,000 bopd.

"Starting in June, our Kurdistan teams took up the challenge of doing more with less,  launching creative solutions they called Operation Throttle-Up and Operation Afterburner, which delivered the stellar operational results we report today," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO's Executive Chairman. "Once again, at DNO the oil we produce is conventional; how we do it is not."

Across the portfolio, third quarter 2020 Company Working Interest (CWI) production increased nine percent from the second quarter to 97,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), of which Kurdistan contributed 80,200 bopd and the North Sea 17,700 boepd.

DNO expects to exit the year with Kurdistan and North Sea production at third quarter levels.

Revenues more than doubled to USD 163 million in the third quarter on the back of improved oil prices and higher cargo liftings of previously produced oil in the North Sea. EBITDA climbed to USD 76 million in the third quarter up from USD 13 million in the previous quarter on higher revenues.

However, North Sea non-cash impairments of USD 202 million pre-tax (USD 118 million post-tax) related principally to the South East Tor and Iris/Hades assets led to an operating loss of USD 208 million.

In July 2020, the Company completed the drilling of Zartik-1, the third exploration well on the Baeshiqa license on a separate structure around 15 kilometers southeast of the Baeshiqa-2 discovery well. Testing of the Zartik-1 Upper Jurassic reservoirs continued through the third quarter. Evaluation of the results of the previously reported discoveries in the Baeshiqa-2 well is ongoing to determine commerciality.

Temporary Norwegian petroleum tax incentives are driving investment plans, with the Company maturing development options for the Brasse field (2021 PDO) and evaluating the Iris/Hades, Fogelberg and Trym South discoveries (2022 PDOs). Appraisal of the Bergknapp discovery (DNO 30 percent), among Norway's largest discoveries this year, is scheduled for 2021.

Two exploration wells are scheduled in the fourth quarter with Polmak already drilling in the Barents Sea (DNO 20 percent) and Røver Nord to spud shortly in the Northern North Sea (DNO 20 percent). These wells will be followed by an active exploration program in 2021 including wildcat wells at Gomez in the Southern North Sea (DNO 85 percent) and Edinburgh cross-border (UK-Norway) in the North Sea (DNO 45 percent).

Following the latest UK licensing round, DNO was awarded four licenses (two operated) all with previous discoveries.

(Source: DNO)

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