GKP Resumes Kurdistan Investment Programme

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announce the resumption of the Company's growth plans to ramp-up gross production towards 55,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd").

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

"After a year of successfully managing the impact of COVID-19 on our people and production operations at Shaikan, we are pleased to announce that we are resuming the 55,000 bopd expansion programme.

"Workstreams have already begun, and we are targeting to restart the drilling of SH-13 in Q3 2021, subject to managing the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the movement of people, services and equipment."

With support from its partner Kalegran B.V. (a subsidiary of MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc), Gulf Keystone has restarted 55,000 bopd expansion activity.

Considering the requirement to manage the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and to remobilise people, services and equipment, the Company currently expects drilling operations to begin in Q3 2021.

Remaining expansion activity includes completion of SH-13, which was suspended last year, drilling SH-I, the final well in the programme from the same pad, and installing electric submersible pumps in two existing wells.

Guidance for 2021 average gross production remains unchanged at 40,000 to 44,000 bopd, with the increase in gross production towards 55,000 bopd expected to occur in Q1 2022.  Remaining Capex required to deliver the 55,000 bopd programme is estimated to be $40-45 million net, resulting in total 2021 Capex of $55-65 million net.

(Source: GKP)

The post GKP Resumes Kurdistan Investment Programme first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Genel announces First Oil at Sarta

Genel Energy has announced first oil production from the Sarta field (Genel 30% working interest), less than 21 months after the acquisition of the stake was completed.

Production has begun at Sarta with first oil flowing from the Sarta-3 well into the Early Production Facility.

The Sarta-2 workover operation is on track to be completed in December and the well onstream from January. As previously stated, it is expected that a stable production level will be reached in Q1 2021.

Preparations for the 2021 appraisal drilling campaign, which is targeting a material portion of the 250 MMbbls of contingent resources in the Jurassic, are ongoing.

Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"First oil at Sarta is an important strategic and operational milestone for Genel, not least given the challenges presented by COVID-19 in 2020. In that context, progressing Sarta to first oil has been a tremendous achievement and a testament to the alignment and co-operation of the field partners and contractors.

"Already the only multi-licence producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the addition of Sarta further diversifies our production and cash flows. We look forward to the results of our well programme in 2021, which is designed to further appraise the potential of the field. This will enable us to work with Chevron to optimise the value of the asset in the years ahead."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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GKP Shares Rise as Workover Completed

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were trading up 5 percent on Monday morning as the company announced that the planned workover on the SH-12 well has been completed safely.

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

"We continue to successfully manage the challenging macro backdrop and make operational progress. I am pleased to report the successful planned workover of the SH-12 well, which is currently producing at over 5,000 bopd, driving an approximately 15% increase in production from the field.

"As announced in our half-year results, the SH-12 workover was one of a series of opportunities identified which in aggregate were expected to increase gross production by c.5,000 bopd. With the very successful SH-12 workover result and work to bring SH-9 online and the debottlenecking of PF-1 proceeding as planned, we now expect to exceed our original incremental production expectation.

"We are also pleased to confirm that we expect average production from the Shaikan Field this year to be at the top end of our guidance range for 2020. I look forward to updating all our stakeholders in December 2020 on the wider progress we have made as a business."

Initial production from SH-12 was from the Lower Jurassic Butmah reservoir providing valuable information for future development planning. The workover involved moving up hole, perforating and producing from the main SAM reservoir.

SH-12 returned to production on 15 November 2020 and the well is currently flowing at a stable rate of over 5,000 bopd. The additional production flows to the PF-2 production facility, where there is spare production capacity. The workover design allowed the original Electronic Submersible Pump ("ESP") completion to remain in place during the operation and the ESP is now back-in service. The operation came in ahead of schedule and on budget.

The Company is pleased to confirm that average 2020 gross production is expected to be at the upper end of the previously disclosed guidance range of 35,000 - 36,000 bopd, with the field currently producing at c.39,000 bopd.

The Company intends to publish an Operational & Corporate Update in December 2020.

(Sources: GKP, LSE)

The post GKP Shares Rise as Workover Completed first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq “The Best Place on Earth to find and Produce Oil”

By John Lee.

Petrel Resources has said that its operations in Iraq, which had been dormant for some time, are "once again showing life".

In its Preliminary Results for the Year Ended 31/12/19, the company said:

"Our Iraqi, director, Riadh, is actively promoting our ongoing interest in participating in the development of the many oil opportunities in Iraq. It remains the best place on earth to find and produce oil.

"The political situation is finally stabilising. We have reconnected with people who assisted us between 1999 - 2010 when we were active in the country. Though only a small company, we have a track record in Iraq, we worked there for more than a decade and have a wealth of data on the oil geology of the country.

"We are hopeful that we will get an opportunity to play a part in developing the oil industry."

(Source: Petrel Resources)

Iraq to Cut Oil Output, but by Less than OPEC+ Target

By John Lee.

Iraq is reportedly cutting its oil output by around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), a third less than required under an OPEC+ supply pact.

Iraqi oil officials told Reuters that the government failed to persuade the international oil companies (IOCs) to agree to bigger reductions.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

GKP Shares up 10% on Results

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were up around 10 percent on Thursday morning, following the company's announcement of its results for the year ended 31 December 2019.

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

"2019 saw a step change in activity at Shaikan; we delivered production and controlled expenditures in line with guidance, returned just under $100 million to our shareholders, and maintained a strong balance sheet with cash of $164 million at 22 April 2020. 

"The current oil price and macro-economic uncertainty continues to have profound, far-reaching effects. We have taken concrete steps to protect value and assure the viability and financial strength of our business, both for today and the longer-term. As previously announced, we have suspended guidance and, while we were on-track to achieve 55,000 bopd in Q3 2020, we have stopped further expansion activity and are currently demobilising the team until circumstances improve. While we have secured ongoing production operations, we continue to closely monitor market dynamics and will take appropriate further actions to preserve value.

"We continue to focus on strict financial discipline and maintaining our strong balance sheet.  GKP remains underpinned by Shaikan, which continues to perform in line with expectations, and we look forward to resuming expansion activity and delivering the underlying value of the field for all stakeholders upon resolution of the outstanding payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") and an improvement in economic conditions."

 Highlights to 31 December 2019 and post reporting period


  • Robust safety performance during a period of increased operational activity.
  • GKP remains committed to the welfare of all personnel and the safety of our operations. To limit the risk and transmission of COVID-19, only location essential personnel are working at GKP sites and offices.  
  • Average gross production in 2019 of 32,883 bopd, in line with original guidance.
  • Gross production from the field in 2020 to date of c.38,000 bopd.
  • As a result of COVID-19, the focus on cost control and overdue payments from the KRG, operations have been reduced to focus on minimum safety critical activities required for production.
  • Once macro conditions improve, including resolution of outstanding payments from the KRG, the Company will restart expansion activity to increase production to 55,000 bopd.


  • In 2019, the Company achieved its production, capital expenditures, operating costs and G&A costs guidance.
  • Profit after tax of $43.5 million (FY 2018: $79.9 million) and revenue of $206.7 million (FY 2018: $250.6 million) were down, as Brent oil prices averaged $64 per barrel in 2019 compared to $71 per barrel in 2018.
  • Net capital investment in Shaikan of $90.0 million (FY 2018: $35.4 million).
  • Maiden dividend and share buyback programmes returned $79 million in 2019. Subsequent completion of the share buyback programme brought total returns to $99 million.
  • Cash balance of $190.8 million at year end (2018: $295.6 million).


  • The Company is actively focused on maintaining a robust financial position and is targeting a major reduction of costs across the business, while maintaining a strong focus on safety and long-term asset reliability. These actions are being taken in response to the current oil price environment and in anticipation of a protracted recovery:
    • net Capex for 2020 include expenditures incurred to date and remaining firm commitments andare expected to be $40-$48 million ($50-$60 million gross), a c.50% reduction compared to 2019;
    • targeted Opex and G&A savings of at least 20%; and
    • in process of reducing expatriate workforce by c.60%.
  • The KRG has committed to paying for monthly production by the 15th day of each following month starting with March 2020, for which payment was recently received.  Dialogue with the KRG is continuing relating to payment of outstanding invoices for November 2019 to February 2020 aggregating $93.7 million gross ($73.3 million net to GKP).
  • Guidance for 2020 suspended until the outlook becomes clearer.
  • Resumption of distributions is dependent on an improvement in macro-economic conditions, resolution of outstanding payments from the KRG and a clear operational outlook.
  • With a strong balance sheet, limited capital commitments and an existing low-cost production base, GKP is well placed to navigate through these challenging conditions and, if necessary, to withstand a lower oil price throughout 2020 and 2021.

The Company's 2019 Full Year Results presentation is available on the investor relations section of the website: https://www.gulfkeystone.com/

(Source: GKP)

Kurdistan, Iraq discuss Oil Production

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

An official Kurdish delegation arrived on Sunday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad to discuss oil production.

"The delegation, led by the Kurdistan government's Finance Minister, Awat Sheikh Janab, will discuss the federal budget, low oil prices, and the region's participation in the Iraqi commitment to reduce oil production in accordance with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s decision," Kurdish Prime Minister Khalid Shwani told reporters.

The Kurdistan Region recently said it would export "250,000 barrels per day of oil to Baghdad to support the Iraqi federal budget."

"The region must abide by the federal government's decision to reduce crude oil production," Shwani stressed.

Oil prices have fallen sharply since Russia and OPEC countries failed to agree on an additional 1.5 million barrels per day of oil production cuts in early March. Concerns over the market impact of the global coronavirus outbreak are compounding the price fall.

Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-led non-OPEC oil producing countries - a grouping known as OPEC+ that pumps over 40 per cent of the world's oil - agreed earlier this month to new oil production cuts which will come into effect in May and are expected to stabilise prices.

Jiyad: Oil Market Collapse Damages the Iraqi Economy

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

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

Oil Market Collapse, Damages the Iraqi Economy and Changes Oil Geopolitics

The collapse of the global oil market is undoubtedly unprecedented in its timing, magnitude, spread and devastating impacts across the globe. A strange and unpredicted association of a few, but major, factors had contributed to the current threat, causing much uncertainty and vulnerability on national and global levels.

The revised "OPEC+" production cut agreed on 12 April prompted initial minor improvement in oil price, but there remains very many serious concerns that such reduction is much below what is needed to bring stability to and balances a saturated global oil market.

This article aims at estimating the collapse in oil market on Iraq first then on both Russia and Saudi Arabia, as they are accused for "OPEC+" failure early last March that ignited the oil price war, and assesses the geopolitical and political economy consideration that contributed to and further complicate the impasse.  The article provides a summary of two articles written and published in Arabic recently and an update on recent deliberation by "OPEC+" and G20 Energy Ministers to rescue the situation and bring some stability to global oil market under  existing threat of Coronavirus to the world biosecurity.

My two articles attempt to provide comparative assessment of the impact of the collapse with particular focus on short-term horizon, i.e., the remaining nine months of this year under different Brent oil price scenarios on Iraq, first article , while the second focuses on Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Click here to download the full report in pdf format.

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.