GKP Profits more than Double

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has today announced its results for the half year ended 30 June 2022.

Jon Harris (pictured), Gulf Keystone's Chief Executive Officer, said:

"With the strengthening oil price and increased production, we have delivered strong profitability and cash flow generation in the first half of the year. As we progress towards approval of the Field Development Plan, we have continued to develop the Shaikan Field and recently resumed drilling with the spud of SH-16. We have paid a record $190 million of dividends in 2022 and are pleased today to announce an incremental interim dividend of $25 million, increasing total dividends declared this year to $215 million. While delivering a sector leading dividend yield, we have also maintained a strong balance sheet, redeeming our $100 million bond leaving the Company debt free.

"Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we are focused on progressing towards FDP approval and achieving our production and opex guidance as we continue to optimise production from the field while maintaining a rigorous focus on costs. We have raised our 2022 capex guidance to $110-$120 million as we have added the drilling of SH-16 and are progressing initial procurement activities for the installation of water handling facilities, which will enable us to unlock additional production from our wells in the future.

"We remain focused on balancing investment in growth with shareholder returns. Continued robust cash generation provides flexibility to consider funding future capital expenditures and further distributions to shareholders, while preserving adequate liquidity."

Highlights to 30 June 2022 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Strong safety performance, with no Lost Time Incident ("LTI") recorded for 315 days
  • 2022 year to date gross average production increased by 3.6% to c.45,000 bopd as compared to the FY 2021 average of 43,440 bopd
  • Continued to progress delivery of our 2022 work programme:
    • SH-15 drilled and brought online in April 2022 in record time
    • SH-16 (formerly SH-M) and SH-N well pad completed in preparation for resumption of drilling
    • Well workovers and interventions completed on two wells to optimise production rates
    • Progressing preparatory work for the expansion of the production facilities, including procurement activities for the installation of water handling capacity
  • Resumed drilling activities late August with the spud of SH-16:
    • Targeting production start-up into PF-2 towards the end of the year

Financial

  • Free cash flow more than doubled to $177.3 million (H1 2021: $66.7 million), driven by the strengthening oil price and continued production growth, enabling the Company to deliver against its strategic commitment of balancing investment in growth with shareholder returns
  • Dividends declared of $215 million in 2022, providing shareholders with a sector-leading dividend yield of 36% based on GKP's closing price on 30 August 2022
  • Significant increase in Adjusted EBITDA and profitability in H1 2022:
    • Adjusted EBITDA up 122% to $208.6 million (H1 2021: $93.8 million)
    • Profit after tax up 151% to $162.8 million (H1 2021: $64.8 million)
    • Realised price up 93% to $84.3/bbl (H1 2021: $43.7/bbl)
    • Gross average production increased 3% to 44,941 bopd (H1 2021: 43,516 bopd)
    • Revenue up 102% to $263.6 million (H1 2021: $130.7 million)
    • Gross Opex per barrel of $2.9/bbl (H1 2021: $2.4/bbl), at low end of 2022 guidance of $2.9-$3.3/bbl
  • Net capex of $41.8 million (H1 2021: $14.1 million), primarily related to the drilling of SH-15, well interventions and workovers, well pad construction, procurement of flowlines and plant expansion activities
  • $354.4 million net to GKP received year to date from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") for crude oil sales and revenue arrears, with the arrears balance related to the November 2019 to February 2020 invoices fully recovered
  • $100 million outstanding bond redeemed in August, leaving the Company debt-free and eliminating annual interest costs of $10 million
  • Robust balance sheet maintained with cash balance of $112.0 million at 31 August 2022

Outlook 

  • 2022 gross average production guidance reiterated at 44,000-47,000 bopd
    • Continuing to optimise production through prudent management of existing well stock, delivery of well workover and intervention programme and addition of SH-16 
  • Gross Opex guidance of $2.9-$3.3/bbl remains unchanged
  • Increasing 2022 net capex guidance from $85-$95 million to $110-$120 million
    • Primarily driven by the drilling of SH-16 and initial procurement activities related to the installation of water handling capacity
  • While timing of Field Development Plan ("FDP") approval remains uncertain, we continue to engage with the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") towards project sanction and are progressing the tendering process for the Gas Management contract. We are also monitoring the potential impact of global supply chain pressures and logistical challenges on the costs and schedule of the FDP
  • We continue to monitor the long running dispute between the Federal Iraqi Government and the KRG on the management of oil and gas assets in Kurdistan. Our operations currently remain unaffected

Shareholder distributions

  • The Company has announced an ordinary dividend policy of at least $25 million per year and, with free cash flow, is committed to maximising distributions taking into account various factors, including investment levels required to achieve production targets, deliver profitable growth and satisfy PSC obligations, and preserve adequate liquidity to manage geopolitical, KRG payment and market uncertainties
  • Today we are declaring an interim dividend of $25 million, increasing total dividends declared in 2022 to $215 million:
    • $25 million interim dividend is equivalent to 11.561 US cents per Common Share of the Company and is expected to be paid on 7 October 2022, based on a record date of 23 September 2022 and ex-dividend date of 22 September 2022
  • Assuming timely payment of invoices and continuing strong oil prices, we expect continued robust cash flow generation, which would provide flexibility to consider funding future capital expenditures and further distributions to shareholders, while preserving adequate liquidity
  • With continued progress towards implementing the FDP, the Company expects to firm up the future estimated timing and levels of investment and review the dividend policy

More here.

(Source: GKP)

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KRG Condemns SOMO Threats to Buyers of Kurdish Crude Oil

From the Kurdistan Regional Government:

The Kurdistan Regional Government strongly condemns the letter issued on 23 August 2022, by Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) that threatens legal action against buyers and traders of crude oil produced in the Kurdistan Region.

SOMO's letter is nothing more than another drip in a stream of disinformation published by federally-owned state organisation as part of a political fight, a fight which sadly includes an attempt by certain parties in Baghdad to undermine the Federal Constitution of Iraq. The letter is also intended to undermine the continuing good-faith dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government. That dialogue seeks to agree on a plan for the future management of Iraq's energy resources and revenues in line with the Federal Constitution.

SOMO's letter relies on a politically motivated opinion by a panel of lawyers pretending to be the "Federal Supreme Court of Iraq".

But there is no Federal Supreme Court and there is no binding decision. This is because the Federal Supreme Court has not yet been formed in accordance with the Federal Constitution. The panel in Baghdad therefore is not the Federal Superme Court and the opinions of the panel of pretenders carry no legal weight in Iraq or elsewhere. To suggest otherwise, as SOMO and others in Baghdad do, is to further a deception. It is a deception that undermines the Federal Constitution and threatens the republic. This political assault on the Federal Constitution is motivated by a desire to return Iraq to the centralisation of unconstrained power from a horrific past era.

Article 92(2) of the Constitution requires that the Iraqi Council of Representatives enact a law - by a two-thirds majority - to determine the workings of the Federal Supreme Court. No such law has been enacted. Iraq therefore does not have a constitutionally established Federal Supreme Court. The panel of lawyers that issued the 15 February 2022 opinion has no constitutional authority to do so.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has neither acquiesced nor stood aside. On 15 February 2022, the day of the so-called Federal Supreme Court decision, the Government issued a statement describing the decision as unjust, unconstitutional, and illegitimate.

On 28 February 2022, a joint statement was issued from Kurdistan Region Presidency, from the Kurdistan Region Parliament, and from the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The statement was supported by KRG's Prime Minister. The statement described the so-called Federal Supreme Court decision as unconstitutional and called for the establishment of a legitimate Federal Supreme Court in accordance with Article 92 of the Constitution. Similar statements followed in March.

On 4 June 2022, the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq issued a further statement setting out that Iraq does not have a constitutionally established Federal Supreme Court, that the body that issued the 15 February 2022 decision had no authority to do so, that the management of all of the oil and gas fields of the Kurdistan Region fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Government, and that Kurdistan Oil and Gas Law was fully in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution. The Judicial Council is an independent body made up of leading jurists in the Kurdistan Region.

On 5 June 2022, the Kurdistan Regional Government started proceedings before the courts of the Kurdistan Region against Federal Minister of Oil. It seeks a comprehensive declaration of the constitutionality of the Kurdistan Oil and Gas Law and related matters and of the illegitimacy of opinion of the panel pretending to be the Federal Supreme Court.

Neither SOMO nor any other spokesman in Baghdad has even attempted to justify the legitimacy of the so called Federal Supreme Court. This is because the Federal Supreme Court is obviously illegitimate. This inconvenience is understood in Iraq, but perhaps less understood outside of Iraq. Given the fatal weaknesses in Baghdad's institutions, and the fatal weakness in Baghdad's arguments, Baghdad's strategy is to fabricate a story to create market uncertainty outside of Iraq in respect of the Kurdistan Region. The statements and threats from Baghdad should be understood as such and should be dismissed. The truth is found clearly and unequivocally in the Federal Constitution and the hope of the Iraqi people that Iraq remains a truly federal republic.
The rights of the Kurdistan Region to develop and produce hydrocarbon resources within the boundaries of the Region continues as provided by the Federal Constitution and Kurdistan law. Oil produced in the Kurdistan Region continues to be produced, to be shipped, to be sold, to be refined, and to be consumed. Investment interest remains and production is expected to increase.

The Kurdistan Regional Government remains fully committed to the process of mediation and dialogue to resolve outstanding differences with the Federal Government on the management of oil and gas in Iraq. Those differences, like any other differences of opinion, must be resolved in accordance with the Federal Constitution and the constitutional rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq. Until that time, the Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to take vigorous steps to defend those rights.

(Source: KRG)

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DNO Raises Kurdistan Output Forecast

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today reported strong second quarter operational and financial results powered by high oil and gas prices and by solid production in its operated flagship Kurdistan Tawke license.

Spurred by quarterly revenue of USD 361 million and free cash flow of USD 167 million, the Company reduced debt and exited the quarter in a positive net cash position for the first time since 2018.

"DNO is committed to put its capital to work in its core competency and capture new opportunities created as peers and even some of the largest European companies scale back spending and focus instead on harvesting," said Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. "We believe in the oil and gas business and in our responsibility to all stakeholders, including host governments who want to capitalize on current prices and consumers who now call for more production, not less," he added.

Operational cash flow totaled USD 341 million, including USD 50 million towards arrears built up by Kurdistan from non-payment of certain 2019 and 2020 Tawke invoices. These arrears, which stood at USD 259 million at yearend 2020, were reduced to USD 87 million as of 30 June 2022, excluding interest.

The Company's operational spend in the second quarter totaled USD 198 million in line with the USD 800 million projection for the year. During the quarter, operational spend of USD 81 million in Kurdistan was divided between the Tawke license (USD 66 million) and the Baeshiqa license (USD 15 million); operational spend in the North Sea stood at USD 117 million.

Operating profit dropped to USD 81 million from USD 236 million in the previous quarter due to asset impairments of USD 127 million primarily related to the Ula area in the North Sea and expensed exploration of USD 48 million.

The Company reduced its interest-bearing debt through a USD 200 million bond redemption and exited the quarter with cash deposits of USD 801 million. With USD 671 million in bond and reserves-based lending debt, net cash stood at USD 129 million.

Gross production at the Tawke license averaged 106,900 barrels of oil per day (bopd) during the second quarter, of which Peshkabir contributed 62,300 bopd and Tawke 44,600 bopd, the latter representing the first quarterly production increase since 2015 at this legacy field as new wells are drilled, workovers conducted on existing ones and gas injection continued.

Of total Kurdistan production, 80,400 bopd were net to DNO's interest. North Sea net production averaged 11,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), bringing the Company's total quarterly net production to 92,000 boepd.

In the second quarter, four new production wells were brought onstream in the Tawke license with three at Tawke and one at Peshkabir. Together with wells drilled in the first quarter, natural field decline has been arrested and reversed, including at Tawke, raising the Company's full-year projection to 107,000-109,000 bopd.

Following government approvals, DNO commenced trucking of production in mid-June from the Zartik-1 discovery well in the operated Baeshiqa license for export at an average rate of 600 bopd. Production from the well has been choked back as the Company targets zones with lower gas-to-oil ratios to avoid flaring. Development of the license continues with the drilling of Zartik-2 and Zartik-3, to be followed by Baeshiqa-3 in the fourth quarter.

In the North Sea, operated Brasse field development progressed into front end engineering and design ahead of planned project sanction by yearend 2022. The Company remains an active North Sea explorer with three more exploration wells to be drilled this year in addition to the four already drilled in the first half of 2022, one of which, Kveikje (DNO 29 percent), is considered a likely commercial discovery, as previously reported.

Key figures

Q2 2022 Q1 2022 Full Year 2021
Gross operated production (boepd) 107,178 106,465       108,713
Net production (boepd)    91,937    92,548         94,477
Revenues (USD million)       361        339          1,004
Operating profit/-loss (USD million)         81        236             321
Net profit/-loss (USD million)         72        140             204
Free cash flow (USD million)       167        152             362
Net debt (USD million)      -129          27             153

(Source: DNO)

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Tawke Oilfield: First Quarterly Production Increase since 2015

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

Gross production at the Tawke licence averaged 106,900 bopd during the second quarter, of which Peshkabir contributed 62,300 bopd and Tawke 44,600 bopd, the latter representing the first quarterly production increase since 2015 at this legacy field as new wells are drilled, workovers conducted on existing ones and gas injection continued.

In the second quarter, four new production wells were brought onstream on the Tawke licence with three at Tawke and one at Peshkabir. Together with wells drilled in the first quarter, natural field decline has been arrested and reversed, including at Tawke, raising DNO's full-year projection to 107,000-109,000 bopd (previously 105,000 bopd).

Genel's production guidance for 2022 is unchanged, with net portfolio production currently expected to be between 30-31,000 bopd for the full-year.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Iraq Planning Increased Oil Production in “Coming Years”

By John Lee.

The First Vice President of the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), Hamid Younis, has said that oil production in Iraq can be increased to 5-to-8 million barrels per day (bpd) "during the coming years."

He is quoted in a statement from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, following a meeting that he chaired with officials from Iraqi oil companies to discuss plans to maintain and increase oil production and export.

The Director-General of the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company, Ali Jassim, said that the next phase will see remarkable activity in the exploration sector, including operations in the Western Desert and Nineveh Governorate.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Genel Energy: Strong Results, but Shares Down

By John Lee.

Shares in Genel Energy were trading down around 5 percent on Tuesday morning, despite significant increases in revenue and profit announceed in its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2022.

Paul Weir, Interim Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"Our cash generation in the first half of the year has been exceptionally strong - driven by our low-cost, high-margin oil production and disciplined capital allocation. We remain focused on the delivery of our long-established strategy of putting capital to work to grow our production and cash generation, while retaining our resilience and paying a material and progressive dividend.

We generated $129 million in free cash flow and are well on track to generate over a quarter of a billion dollars of free cash flow for the full year. This continues to build our balance sheet strength and optionality, providing us with the funds to add the right assets at the right price. Our cash flow this year benefits from the recovery of receivables and our override payments, and we are focused on replacing these by building a portfolio that supports the resilience, sustainability, and progression of our material dividend."

Results summary ($ million unless stated)

H1 2022 H1 2021 FY 2021
Average Brent oil price ($/bbl) 108 65 71
Production (bopd, working interest) 30,420  32,760 31,710
Revenue 245.6  151.5 334.9
EBITDAX1 212.3  123.1 275.1
  Depreciation and amortisation (84.4)  (81.8) (172.8)
  Impairment of oil and gas assets - - (403.2)
  Reversal of impairment of receivables 12.8 - 24.1
Operating profit / (loss) 140.7 41.3 (276.8)
Cash flow from operating activities 216.3 91.1 228.1
Capital expenditure 74.7 58.2 163.7
Free cash flow2 128.7 22.2 85.9
Cash 412.1 266.4 313.7
Total debt 280.0 280.0 280.0
Net cash / (debt)3 141.3 (2.2) 43.9
Basic EPS (¢ per share) 45.4 9.3 (111.4)
Dividends declared for the period (¢ per share) 6 6 18
  1. EBITDAX is operating profit / (loss) adjusted for the add back of depreciation and amortisation, impairment of property, plant and equipment, impairment of intangible assets and reversal of impairment of receivables
  2. Free cash flow is reconciled on page 8
  3. Reported cash less IFRS debt (page 8)

Summary

  • Material cash generation from low-cost and high-margin oil production:
    • Net production averaged 30,420 bopd in H1 2022 (H1 2021: 32,760 bopd)
    • Low production cost of $4.4/bbl and strength of oil price delivered a margin per barrel of $32/bbl (H1 2021: $20/bbl)
    • Free cash flow of $129 million (H1 2021: $22 million)
  • Financial strength provides options for capital allocation:
    • $75 million of capital expenditure in H1 2022, of which $41 million was spent at Taq Taq and Tawke, and $27 million on Sarta appraisal
    • Genel took on operatorship at Sarta on 1 January 2022, with Sarta-5 and Sarta-1D subsequently being completed
    • Cash of $412 million (31 December 2021: $314 million)
    • Net cash of $141 million (31 December 2021: net cash of $44 million)
  • A socially responsible contributor to the global energy mix:
    • Zero lost time injuries ('LTI') and zero tier one loss of primary containment events at Genel and TTOPCO operations
      • Two million work hours since the last LTI, as we seek to repeat the performance of six years without an LTI up to September 2021
    • As we mark 20 years of operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq ('KRI'), the Genel20 Scholars initiative has launched, with Genel funding the opportunity for 20 economically disadvantaged students to have a life-enhancing education at the American University of Kurdistan

Outlook

  • Production guidance for 2022 maintained as around the same level as 2021, currently tracking between 30-31,000 bopd for the full-year
  • 2022 capital expenditure guidance of between $140 million and $180 million tightened to $150 million to $170 million
  • Genel expects free cash flow of over $250 million in 2022, pre dividend payments
  • Appraisal at Sarta is ongoing, with results of the Sarta-6 well expected around the end of the year
  • The Company continues to actively pursue new business opportunities, focused on production and cash generation
  • The London seated international arbitration regarding Genel's claim for substantial compensation from the KRG following Genel's termination of the Miran and Bina Bawi PSCs is ongoing
  • Interim dividend retained at 6¢ per share:
    • Ex-dividend date: 15 September 2022
    • Record date: 16 September 2022
    • Payment date: 14 October 2022

Full results here.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Iran “Ready to Export Technical, Engineering Services to Iraq”

By John Lee.

The CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has said that Iran is ready to export technical and engineering services to Iraq.

Addressing a meeting of the Joint Working Group on Iran-Iraq Oil Cooperation, Mohsen Khojastehmehr, said:

"Iran wants to benefit from Iraq's participation in the development of the oil and gas industry ...

"It is time for Iran and Iraq to take practical steps to cooperate in the field of oil and gas activities and the scientific, technological and educational sectors."

The Iraqi delegation to the meeting was led by Deputy Minister of Oil, Bassem Mohammad Khedir,

(Source: Shana)

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