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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Kurdistan 2020 Oil Business “Crashed due to COVID-19”

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has released its annual oil and gas audit report for 2020, which revealed several drops in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The region's total exported and consumed oil for the year stood at 165,942,861 barrels, about 5 million barrels less comparing to 2019.

The average price of oil dropped to $28.1 per barrel as global markets crashed during the second quarter, with the gross value of crude oil sold via pipelines standing at $4,443,842,235.

As of Q4 2020, $294,315,126 of KRG funds remained held in a bank account in Lebanon due to restrictions on transferring foreign currency outside the country.

The full 2020 audit report is available here:

https://gov.krd/english/information-and-services/open-data/deloitte-reports/deloitte-report-2020/

(Source: KRG)

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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 Q4 of 2020

The KRG has published a report containing verified statistics covering the Kurdistan Region's oil exports, consumption and revenues for period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, along with the consolidated report for the year 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 KRG 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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KRG to rely 100% on Natural Gas for Electricity

Ten electricity plants were provided with transformers at a ceremony attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani in Koya town on Thursday.

The Deputy Prime Minister commended the Koya transformer project and addressed developments in the electricity sector, including the Kurdistan Regional Government's decision to go all in on natural gas.

"The power generation costs are still high," said Deputy Prime Minister Talabani, "and to solve this, we are planning to increase the dependency on natural gas to 100 percent as a source of fossil fuel in power generation."

Also in attendance at the Koya ceremony was Minister of Electricity Kamal Mohammed Salih, who provided more information on the 2.728 billion dinar (or roughly 1.8 million USD) transformer project.

Minister Salih hailed the cabinet's achievements in power generation and distribution, and stated that more than 450 projects have been initiated with a total worth of 60 billion dinars.

KRG is planning to open three more power plants in the Kurdistan Region by the end of this year: a steam power plant in Khabat District, a gas power plant in the Garmian region, and a 37-megawatt plant in Deraluk.

The Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani also talked about his latest visit to Baghdad with the KRG delegation to discuss the region's share of the budget.

He noted that one of the topics of discussion was cooperative power generation between the federal and regional governments, a step that would drastically increase Iraq's supply of electricity.

(Source: KRG)

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Genel Energy receives March Oil Payments from KRG

Genel Energy has announced that payments have been received from the Kurdistan Regional Government ('KRG') for its entitlement for oil sales during March 2021.

Those payments are made up as follows:

(all figures $ million) Payment
Tawke 14.3
Taq Taq 2.1
Sarta 3.4
Total 19.8

As announced on 13 May, Genel and other KRI operators received a letter from the KRG proposing an amendment to the recovery mechanism and payment schedule for monies owed for oil sales from November 2019 to February 2020 and the suspended override from March to December 2020.

The entitlement payments for oil sales were, in line with other operators, received ahead of the proposed amended schedule.

The Company has not yet received payments for March's invoices under the recovery mechanism, regarding which it is engaging with the KRG on their proposed amendments, nor the Tawke override.

Assuming the proposed revision to the terms of recovery stands, the recovery payment will be $3.1 million. The override payment will be $8.2 million. Given the proposed new schedule, Genel expects to receive both payments shortly.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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KRG amends Oil Payment Terms; Share Prices Fall

By John Lee.

Shares in oil companies operating in Iraqi Kurdistan have been hit by a change in payment terms imposed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) and DNO this morning reported to the markets that they have received letters from the KRG proposing an amendment to payment terms due to the ongoing challenges in Iraq with the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with the March 2021 production invoice.

They said that since the dated Brent price has remained consistently well above $50 per barrel, the monthly repayment of outstanding arrears will now be calculated as 20 percent (compared to 50 percent previously) of the difference between the average monthly dated Brent price and $50 per barrel.

The KRG added that payment terms will be 60 days after the submission of invoices, and that the KRG will re-evaluate this payment model should markets see substantial volatility.

The oil companies have not agreed to these terms, and are seeking discussions with the KRG.

Shares in Genel Energy were down more than 12 percent before recovering slightly, while Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) fell more than 6 percent before recovering slightly. The Oslo Stock Exchange, on which DNO is traded, is closed for the Ascension Day holiday.

(Sources: GKP, Genel Energy, DNO)

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Iraqi Kurdistan sticks with AstraZeneca Vaccine

By Adam Lucente for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq's Kurdistan region sticks with AstraZeneca vaccine, reports no issues

Kurdish authorities say they will continue administering the vaccine following the European Union's conclusion that blood clots should be listed among "rare side effects" of the British-Swedish vaccine.

Click here to read the full story.

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COVID-19: Iraqi Kurdistan reinstates Travel Ban

By Al-Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Kurdistan reinstates travel ban

Daily coronavirus cases are approaching historical highs in the autonomous part of northern Iraq as vaccination efforts proceed at a crawl.

The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq restricted domestic travel on Tuesday to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Click here to read the full story.

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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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KRG proposes new Minister of Natural Resources

By John Lee.

The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masrour Barzani, has nominated Dr. Kamal Atroshi to the post of Minister of Natural Resources, a position which includes responsibility for the oil and gas portfolio.

A statement from KRG spokesperson Dr. Jotiar Adil said, "It is our hope that the Kurdistan Parliament includes this topic in its next session and provides a vote of confidence".

According to his Linked-In profile, Dr al-Atroshi was educated in Iraq and France, and has worked extensively in the oil sector in Kuwait. He has held positions with the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), Gas & Oil Field Services Company (GOFSCO), and Total.

(Sources: Kurdistan Regional Government, Linked-In)

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