KRG Denies seizing control of Oil Fields

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has denied seizing the Bai Hassan and Dawd Gurg oil fields in Kirkuk from the Iraqi federal government's Ministry of Oil.

On Saturday, the North Oil Company (NOC), which is owned by the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), claimed that the KRG took over the fields in what it said was a contravention of Iraqi law.

The KRG has issued a statement saying the claims are, "completely untrue and are aimed at sowing discord."

Bai Hassan was originally controlled by the Ministry of Oil (Baghdad), but seized by KRG forces in July 2014. It was subsequently returned to Baghdad (NOC) control in 2017.

(Sources: NOC, KRG)

The post KRG Denies seizing control of Oil Fields first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Russian: ‘No objections’ to Kurdistan exporting Gas to Europe

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

Russian ambassador to Iraq: 'No objections' to Kurdistan Region exporting gas to Europe

Elbrus Kutrashev (pictured) spoke to the Kurdish news outlet Rudaw about plans to export natural gas from the autonomous part of northern Iraq to Europe in response to the war in Ukraine.

Click here to read the full article.

The post Russian: 'No objections' to Kurdistan exporting Gas to Europe first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Shares in Genel Energy slump on Sarta Result

By John Lee.

Shares in Genel Energy were trading down 7 percent on Tuesday morning after the company announced disappointing results at the Sarta-5 appraisal well:

"Genel Energy plc ('Genel' or 'the Company') announces the following update on the Sarta PSC (30% working interest and operator).

"Testing of the Sarta-5 appraisal well has been completed. While oil was recovered to surface from a number of intervals, notably c.800 bbls of light oil from the Najmah formation, stable and sustained commercial flow of oil was not achieved from the primary reservoir objectives of the Mus and Adaiyah formations nor the secondary Lower Sargalu or Najmah formations. None of the intervals tested were able to support sustained flow of reservoir fluids, indicating that the reservoirs at this location are tight. This was identified as a critical pre-drill risk of this appraisal well.

"The presence of oil associated with both the primary and secondary Jurassic reservoir intervals, 12 km southeast of the Sarta pilot EPF, will now be subject to further investigation and integration into the joint venture's understanding of the Sarta field and future planning. The well will now be suspended according to KRI regulations.

"The Sarta appraisal programme continues at Sarta-6, c.6 km to the west of the pilot EPF, with test results expected in Q3."

(Source: Genel Energy)

The post Shares in Genel Energy slump on Sarta Result first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Refinery Targeted in Rocket Attack

By John Lee.

A rocket attack that targeted an oil refinery in the Khabat area of Erbil on Sunday has been widely condemned.

Six rockets were fired at the Kawergosk refinery, which is owned by KAR Group, reportedly damaging a storage tank.

The Iraqi Security Media Cell said it located a launch base near the Al-Fadhiliah area of Bashiqa district, in the Nineveh Plain, where a further four missiles were rendered rendered harmless.

Shafaq quotes a source as saying that one person sustained minor injuries in the attack.

In March, the home of the CEO of KAR Group, Baz Karim Barzanji, was badly damaged in a rocket attack attributed to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

(Sources: Iraqi Security Media Cell, Shafaq, Asharq al Awsat, NRT)

The post Refinery Targeted in Rocket Attack first appeared on Iraq Business News.

GKP outlines Payments to Govts for 2021

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has just published details of its payments to governments for the year 2021:

Introduction

This report sets out details of the payments made to governments by Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd and its subsidiary undertakings ("Gulf Keystone") for the year ended 31 December 2021 as required under Disclosure and Transparency Rule 4.3A issued by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority ("DTR 4.3A") and in accordance with The Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014 (as amended in 2015) ("the UK Regulations") and our interpretation of the Industry Guidance on the UK Regulations issued by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers. DTR 4.3A requires companies listed on a stock exchange in the UK and operating in the extractive industry to publicly disclose payments to governments in the countries where they undertake exploration, prospection, discovery, development and extraction of minerals, oil, natural gas deposits or other materials.

Basis for preparation

Total payments below £86,000 made to a government are excluded from this report, as permitted under the UK Regulations.

All of the payments made in relation to the Shaikan Production Sharing Contract ("Shaikan PSC") in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have been made to the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") of the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG").

Production entitlements

Production entitlements are the host government's share of production during the reporting period from the Shaikan Field operated by Gulf Keystone. The figures reported have been produced on an entitlement basis, rather than on a liftings basis. Production entitlements are paid in-kind and the monetary value disclosed is derived from management's calculation based on the monthly oil sales invoices.

Royalties

Royalties represent royalties paid in-kind to governments during the year for the extraction of oil. The terms of the royalties are described within the Shaikan PSC. Royalties have been calculated on the same basis as production entitlements.

Licence fees and capacity building payments

These include licence fees, rental fees, entry fees, capacity building payments, security fees and other considerations for licences or concessions.

Infrastructure improvement payments

These include payments for infrastructure improvements, whether contractual or otherwise, such as roads, other than in circumstances where the infrastructure is expected to be primarily dedicated to operational activities throughout its useful life.

KRG

Production entitlements in-kind (1) (mboe (2))

5,151

Production entitlements in-kind (1)  ($ '000)

255,763

Royalties in-kind (1) (mboe (2))

1,255

Royalties in-kind (1) (2) ($ '000)

62,320

Licence fees and capacity building payments in-kind (3) ($ '000)

17,385

Infrastructure improvement payments (4)

342

Total (mboe (2))

6,406

Total ($ '000)

355,811

Notes

(1)  All of the crude oil produced by Gulf Keystone was sold by the KRG. All proceeds of sale were received by or on behalf of the KRG, out of which the KRG then made payment for cost oil and profit oil in accordance with the Shaikan PSC to Gulf Keystone, in exchange for the crude oil delivered to the KRG. Under these arrangements, payments were made by or on behalf of the KRG to Gulf Keystone, rather than by Gulf Keystone to the KRG. However, for the purposes of the reporting requirements under the UK Regulations, we are required to characterise the value of the KRG's production entitlements under the Shaikan PSC (for which the KRG receives payment directly from the market) as a payment to the KRG.

(2)  Thousand barrels of oil.

(3)  Capacity building payments are deducted from the monthly crude oil sales invoice, no direct payment is made to the KRG. The value of licence, rental and security fees has been accrued and is not expected to be paid, but rather offset against revenue due from the KRG related to pre-October 2017 oil sales, which have not yet been recognised in the financial statements.

(4)  Drilling of water well, construction of water supply network and purchase of generators.

(Source: Gulf Keystone Petroleum)

The post GKP outlines Payments to Govts for 2021 first appeared on Iraq Business News.

ShaMaran reports Record Oil Revenues at Atrush

ShaMaran Petroleum has released its financial and operating results and related management's discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the three months and year ended December 31, 2021.

Dr. Adel Chaouch, President and Chief Executive Officer of ShaMaran, commented:

"2021 has been a transformational year for ShaMaran. The Company generated the highest annual oil sales revenues in its history at $102.3 million. ShaMaran's 2021 EBITAX was more than triple that of 2020 and last year demonstrates the Company's cash generating ability with cashflow from operations increasing by almost 5 times versus the year before.  Atrush continues to prove itself as a world class field with cumulative production now in excess of 54MM barrels and a continuation of full replacement of 2P reserves year on year.

"We are entering 2022 in a strong financial position and are excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for Shamaran. The Sarsang acquisition, expected to close in the coming months, will double the size of the Company and we continue to actively look at other market opportunities to further develop ShaMaran. We recently announced a one-of-its-kind climate action corporate sponsorship with the Hasar Organization for Earth Sciences in Kurdistan. This initiative represents a key early step in ShaMaran's strategy towards significantly reducing its net carbon footprint."

2021 Financial Highlights

Three months ended Dec 31

Year ended Dec 31

USD Thousands

2021

2020

2021

2020

Revenue

27,439

14,081

102,323

56,673

Gross margin on oil sales

12,662

10,253

49,889

7,106

Net result

4,061

(1,785)

13,383

(144,425)

Cash flow from operations

23,336

5,350

63,903

12,860

EBITDAX

18,456

6,614

66,375

20,052

  • The fourth quarter generated oil sales revenue of $27.4 million and during 2021 the Company generated the highest-ever annual oil sales revenues at $102.3 million;
  • A strong EBITDAX of $18.5 million for the fourth quarter and $66.4 million for the full year 2021, 3.3 times the EBITDAX of 2020;
  • Consistent oil sales and entitlement payments from the KRG with 75% of the KRG outstanding receivables paid during 2021;
  • 2021 and fourth quarter operating cash flow of $63.9 million and $12.9 million respectively; and
  • Reduction of the principal amount of the Company's 2023 Bond by $15 million during 2021 with a further $3 million of the 2023 Bond bought back by the company at 2021 year end.

___________________________

1 All currency amounts indicated as "$" in this news release are expressed in United States Dollars. 

2021 Atrush Operational Highlights

  • Cumulative production of more than 54 million barrels of oil achieved by year end 2021;
  • Atrush Property gross 2P reserves2 had a 102% reserves replacement ratio increasing to 110.2 MMbbls as at December 31, 2021 from 109.9 in 2020, and Company gross 2P reserves increasing from 30.3 MMbbls to 30.4 MMbbls;
  • Full year 2021 average production of approximately 38,600 bopd, was very close to the 2021 guidance despite a longer than anticipated routine maintenance shutdown period in September 2021;
  • Full year 2021 lifting costs per barrel of $5.12 in line with 2021 guidance; and
  • Full year 2021 capital expenditure of $52.3 million ($14.2 million net to ShaMaran) in line with 2021 guidance.

Sarsang Acquisition

  • As announced on July 30, 2021, the Company has successfully issued and settled $111.5 million principal amount of the $300 million 12% senior unsecured bond 2021/2025 (the "2025 Bond"), which was issued at 98.5% of nominal value for gross cash proceeds to the Company of $109.8 million. This portion of the 2025 Bond and the $188.5 million balance will be issued to refinance existing indebtedness of the Company in connection with, and conditional upon completion of, the Company's acquisition of TotalEnergies' affiliate that holds an 18% non-operated participating interest in the Sarsang Block; and
  • The Company is currently finalizing the closing documentation for the completion of the Sarsang Acquisition and completion is expected in the first half of 2022.

2022 Atrush Guidance

  • 2022 average production guidance of 36,000 to 41,000 bopd;
  • Atrush capital expenditures for 2022 planned at $116 million ($32 million net to ShaMaran). This capital program includes:
    • The drilling and completion of three development wells, including one water injection well.
    • Initiation of the gas solution project which will significantly reduce emissions by using existing infrastructure to generate electrical power from produced gas. As the Atrush field is currently dependent on diesel-fueled generators for all electrical power, this project will also therefore greatly reduce future operating costs.
  • Atrush operating expenditure is forecast to be $76 million ($21 million net to ShaMaran) for 2022, in line with 2021 actual operating costs; and
  • Atrush average lifting costs per barrel are estimated to range from $4.80 to $5.80. Atrush lifting costs are mainly fixed costs and dollar-per-barrel estimates should decrease with increasing levels of production and operational efficiencies.

CORPORATE UPDATE

The Company is pleased to announce that the Record Date of May 6, 2022 has been set for the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on June 23, 2022.

____________________________

2 Reserves estimates, contingent resource estimates and estimates of future net revenue in respect of ShaMaran's oil and gas assets in the Atrush Block are effective as at December 31, 2021, and are included in the report prepared by McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd., an independent qualified reserves evaluator, in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (NI 51-101) and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook (the COGE Handbook) and using McDaniel's January 1, 2022 price forecasts. Certain abbreviations and technical terms used in this MD&A are defined or described under the heading "Other Supplementary Information".

OTHER

This information is information that ShaMaran is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out below, on April 25, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  Arctic Securities AS (Swedish branch) is the Company's Certified Advisor on Nasdaq First North Growth Market (Sweden), +46 844 68 61 00, certifiedadviser@arctic.com.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release contains statements and information about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward‐looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as legal and political risk, civil unrest, general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events and management's capacity to execute and implement its future plans.

The Covid-19 virus and the restrictions and disruptions related to it have had a drastic adverse effect on the world demand for, and prices of, oil and gas as well as the market price of the shares of oil and gas companies generally, including the Company's common shares.  There can be no assurance that these adverse effects will not continue or that commodity prices will not decrease or remain volatile in the future. These factors are beyond the control of ShaMaran and it is difficult to assess how these, and other factors, will continue to affect the Company and the market price of ShaMaran's common shares. In light of the current situation, as at the date of this news release, the Company continues to review and assess its business plans and assumptions regarding the business environment, as well as its estimates of future production, cash flows, operating costs, and capital expenditures.

Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward‐looking information. Forward‐ looking information typically contains statements with words such as "may", "will", "should", "expect", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "projects", "potential", "scheduled", "forecast", "outlook", "budget" or the negative of those terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes.  The Company cautions readers regarding the reliance placed by them on forward‐looking information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company.

Actual results may differ materially from those projected by management. Further, any forward‐looking information is made only as of a certain date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward‐ looking information or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management of the Company to predict all of these factors and to assess in advance the impact of each such factor on the Company's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward‐looking information.

ABOUT SHAMARAN

ShaMaran is a Kurdistan focused oil development and exploration company which holds a 27.6% working interest, through its wholly-owned subsidiary General Exploration Partners, Inc., in the Atrush Block and, upon successful closing of the Sarsang Acquisition, will then also hold an 18% interest through its then wholly-owned subsidiary TEPKRI Sarsang A/S in the Sarsang Block.

ShaMaran is a Canadian oil and gas company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and the Nasdaq First North Growth Market (Sweden) under the symbol "SNM".

(Source: ShaMaran)

The post ShaMaran reports Record Oil Revenues at Atrush first appeared on Iraq Business News.

DNO releases latest Production Data

By John Lee.

DNO has issued an update on production and sales volumes for the quarter as well as other key financial information.

Volumes (boepd):

Gross operated production Q1 2022 Q4 2021 Q1 2021
  Kurdistan 106,465 107,472 111,985
  North Sea - - -
Net entitlement production Q1 2022 Q4 2021 Q1 2021
  Kurdistan 26,670 29,367 28,593
  North Sea 12,700 13,571 15,173
Sales Q1 2022 Q4 2021 Q1 2021
  Kurdistan 26,670 29,367 28,593
  North Sea 10,689 23,289 10,953

Selected cash flow items

During the quarter, DNO received USD 206.6 million net from the Kurdistan Regional Government, of which USD 160.7 million represents the entitlement share of October, November and December 2021 Tawke license crude oil deliveries.

Of the balance, USD 13.8 million represents override payments equivalent to three percent of gross October and November 2021 Tawke license revenues and USD 32.1 million represents payments towards arrears built up from non-payment of certain invoices in 2019 and 2020.

DNO paid one tax installment of USD 12.6 million in Norway as tax losses for 2021 ended lower than estimated tax losses that were the basis for tax refunds received during H2 2021.

The Company paid a dividend of NOK 0.20 per share, totaling USD 22.2 million.

(Source: DNO)

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KRG to continue Oil Negotiations with Baghdad

By John Lee.

The KRG's Council of Ministers held its weekly meeting on Wednesday, led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

Referring to the recent round of discussions to resolve the dispute over oil sales between Erbil and Baghdad, the Council stressed the importance of continuing to defend the Kurdistan Region's constitutional rights within Iraq.

It added that negotiations with Baghdad will continue until a mutually acceptable agreement is reached concerning the Region's oil and gas industry.

With no final agreement having yet been reached, the Council added that, while they regard the situation as a violation of the Iraqi oil and gas law, contractual obligations to oil companies currently engaged in the Region will be fulfilled regardless.

(Source: KRG)

The post KRG to continue Oil Negotiations with Baghdad first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Baghdad, Erbil conclude First Round of Talks on Oil

By John Lee.

The Iraqi federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have concluded a first round of talks to discuss the management of the Kurdistan region's oil and gas resources.

The meeting follows the ruling by a federal court in February that exports of oil and gas from the Kurdistan region were unconstitutional.

After the meeting, Baghdad's Ministry of Oil has said that it has proposed that existing oil contracts in the region be transferred to a new company, to be set up in Erbil but owned by the federal authority. 

Revenues from sales would be lodged to an escrow account at an international bank, owned by the Ministry of Finance.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

The post Baghdad, Erbil conclude First Round of Talks on Oil first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Deloitte report on Oil and Gas in Iraqi Kurdistan

As part of the KRG's drive to promote transparency, Deloitte have been commissioned to produce an audited report detailing oil and gas exports, production costs, and revenues for the second half of 2021.

The report, which analyzes the oil and gas industry on a quarterly basis, is now available as a PDF in English, Kurdish and Arabic on the KRG website.

Click here to download the reports.

(Source: KRG)

The post Deloitte report on Oil and Gas in Iraqi Kurdistan first appeared on Iraq Business News.