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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Dana Gas Resumes $600m Expansion in Iraq

Dana Gas and its partner Crescent Petroleum have announced the full resumption of the expansion project at the Khor Mor field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), which the companies jointly operate on behalf of the Pearl Petroleum consortium.

The KM250 expansion involves further investment of US$600 million to add 250 million cubic feet per day of much-needed additional gas production to supply the local power stations. The project construction work had been put on hold due to the COVID pandemic but is now on track for a new target start date of April 2023, after agreement to lift the force majeure with both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the contractor [Exterran].

Under a Gas Sales agreement signed in March 2019 with the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources, Pearl Petroleum will sell the additional quantities of gas to supply the power stations with affordable and environmentally cleaner fuel, and further enhance electricity supplies. Today over 80% of the KRI's electricity generation is enabled by the gas produced by the companies.

Current production at the Khor Mor field is 440 million cubic feet per day of natural gas as well as 15,700 barrels per day of condensate and 1,020 tonnes of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), or a total of 110,400 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, making it the largest overall producer in the KRI and the largest private sector upstream gas operation in Iraq. After the KM250 train, there are plans to add a further KM500 train which would take production to almost 1 billion cubic feet per day by 2024.

Total investment to date exceeds US$2 billion with total cumulative production of over 332 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), which has resulted in significant fuel cost savings and economic benefits for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole. In addition 43 million tonnes of CO2 emissions have been eliminated by displacing liquid fuels, which in turn has made a positive contribution to tackling global climate change as well as reducing local air pollution.

Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Board Managing Director of Dana Gas, commented:

"After a year of delay due to the COVID pandemic, we are pleased to fully resume the KM250 expansion project to invest US$600 million and grow the gas production almost 60% within 2 years from now, supporting the local electricity provision even further. Despite the challenges the whole world has faced over the past year we have kept our operations safe and managed to grow production and we are grateful to all our staff and to the KRG for its support."

Dr. Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO of Dana Gas, added:

"With our partners in Pearl Petroleum we are proud to be investing further in the gas sector of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, delivering a reliable source of cleaner energy, and supporting local economic development. The continuing receipt of payments in a timely manner gives confidence for our continued investment commitment as we enter the next exciting phase of growth with the Khor Mor expansion, which will be carried out under strict health protocols to ensure the safety of our staff and service providers."

(Source: Dana Gas)

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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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GKP claims “Strong Start to 2021”

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced its audited results for the full year ended 31 December 2020.

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

"Against the backdrop of extraordinary global challenges in 2020, GKP acted decisively to successfully manage the impact of COVID-19 on our staff, contractors and production operations. We achieved all of our cost reduction targets and annual average production of 36,625 bopd, 11% higher than 2019.

"We have had a strong start to 2021. The updated independent Competent Person 's Report reaffirmed the significant upside production potential of the field with gross 2P reserves + 2C contingent resources of c.800 MMstb. Average gross production from Shaikan in 2021 to 29 March is 43,190 bopd, up c. 13% from the corresponding period in 2020. 

"Recently, we resumed the 55,000 bopd investment programme and today we are pleased to be announcing the reinstatement of at least a $25 million annual dividend, in keeping with our commitment to balance investment in growth and returns to shareholders."

Highlights to 31 December 2020 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Effectively managing the impact of COVID-19 on production operations and continue to prioritise the welfare of workforce and contractors whilst maintaining production momentum.
  • Continued strong safety performance, with no Lost Time Incident ("LTI") recorded for over 450 days.
  • 2020 a verage gross production of 36,625 bopd, exceeding revised guidance and the highest annual average production rate to date from the field.
  • Gross average production from the field in 2021 to date of 43,190 bopd, in line with guidance of 40,000 - 44,000 bopd for the year.
  • Updated Competent Person's Report ("CPR") published with c.800 MMstb gross 2P+2C reserves and resources volumes, which was in line with the 2016 CPR, after adjusting for production over the period, supporting GKP's view of the geological model.

Financial

  • GKP achieved its 2020 cost reduction targets, reducing Opex and G&A by more than 20% compared to 2019 and delivering gross unit Opex of $2.6/bbl, below the low end of the guidance range and down over 30% versus 2019.
  • Net Capex was $45.9 million net (FY 2019: $90 .0 million) within the $40-48 million revised guidance range despite the addition of low-cost, high impact investments during the fourth quarter that contributed to record 2020 annual average production.
  • Loss after tax of $47.3 million (FY 2019: $43.5 million profit) and reduced revenue of $108.4 million (FY 2019: $206.7 million) were driven by a decline in Brent oil prices that averaged $42/bbl in 2020 compared to $64/bbl in 2019.
  • Consistent payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") for the last eleven months.  Repayment mechanism in place to recover outstanding arrears of $73.3 million net for the period November 2019 - February 2020 with the first payment of $2.6 million net recently received.
  • Cash balance of $147.8 million at year end (FY 2019: $190.8 million). Cash balance of $161.0 million at 30 March 2021.
  • The Company has hedged c.60% of Q2 and Q3 2021 forecast net production at a floor price of $35/bbl and $40/bbl respectively, while retaining full upside exposure.

Outlook

  • Resumption of expansion activity with drilling operations expected to begin in Q3 resulting in an increase in gross production towards 55,000 bopd in Q1 2022.
  • Reinstatement of at least a $25 million annual dividend . A $25 million dividend is subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") scheduled for 18 June 2021 and is expected to be paid in full on 2 July 2021 based on a record date of 25 June 2021 .
  • With continuing strong oil prices, there may be opportunities to consider further distributions to shareholders this year.
  • Guidance for 2021 of average gross production of 40,000 to 44,000 bopd, net Capex of $55-$65 million and gross unit Opex of $2.5 to $2.9/bbl.

Full announcement here.

(Source: GKP)

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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)

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Sarta-2 Well enters Production

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced that the Sarta-2 well has entered production at the Sarta field (Genel 30% working interest), with gross field production now in excess of 10,000 bopd.

Genel expects this figure to increase from the existing two producing wells, as optimisation of facilities configuration continues post production start-up.

The company added that the high-impact 2021 appraisal drilling campaign is on track to begin at the start of Q2, with the Sarta-5 and Sarta-6 wells set to be drilled back to back.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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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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GKP issues Update on Shaikan Field

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided a Competent Person's Report ("CPR") update on the Shaikan Field in which it has an 80% working interest.  

The CPR, an independent third-party evaluation of the Company's reserves and resources as at 31 December 2020, was prepared by ERC Equipoise ("ERCE").

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

"The updated CPR demonstrates the continuing long-term strong performance of the Shaikan Field with gross 2P+2C reserves and resources volumes in line with the 2016 CPR, after adjusting for production over the period.   

"Prior Company estimates are reaffirmed with gross 2P+2C reserves and resources of c.800 MMstb at 31 December 2020, including over 500 MMstb of gross 2P reserves.  

"We have a deep understanding of the Shaikan Field that has produced over 80 MMstb to date and are pleased that the latest CPR matches our interpretation and understanding of the geological model, underlining the considerable untapped potential of the field."

"We had a strong start to the year in January, which saw GKP's highest monthly average daily gross production of 44,405 bopd.  As conditions continue to improve, we look forward to resuming the 55,000 bopd expansion project and shareholder distributions."  

Highlights

  • The CPR incorporates significant incremental information, including an updated development plan, new wells, production data and further technical analysis, since the last CPR was prepared by ERCE in 2016.
  • Gross 2P reserves + 2C contingent resources1 of 798 MMstb2 at 31 December 2020 are consistent with volumes as at 31 December 2019, adjusted principally for 2020 production.
  • Gross 1P reserves increased to 240 MMstb, up 33% after adjusting for 2020 production.
  • Gross 2P Jurassic reserves were revised down marginally (2%) to 505 MMstb, after adjusting for 2020 production. 
  • Gross 2P Triassic and Cretaceous reserves of 47 MMstb were reclassified to gross 2C contingent resources1, while the Field Development Plan is progressed with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Shaikan continues to deliver stable production with average gross production in January of 44,405 bopd, the highest monthly average to date from the field.
  • The Shaikan Field has significant future production potential with a gross 1P reserves life index3 of c.15 years and a gross 2P reserves life index3 of over 31 years, assuming January 2021 production levels.

Gross reserves and resources based on the Company's estimates at 31 December 2019 and the CPR at 31 December 2020 were:

31 December 2020

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Formation (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

Jurassic

240

505

80

585

Triassic

-

-

157

157

Cretaceous

-

-

56

56

Total - Gross

240

505

293

798

31 December 2019

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Formation (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

Jurassic

  175

  531

  80

  611

Triassic

  18

  44

  106

  150

Cretaceous

  1

  3

  53

  56

Total - Gross

  194

  578

  239

  817

The reconciliation of changes in reserves and resources between the Company's estimates at 31 December 2019 and the CPR at 31 Decemer 2020 is as follows:

 

 

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Gross (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

31 December 2019

  194

  578

  239

  817

Production

(13)

(13)

  - 

(13)

Reclassifications

(19)

(47)

  +47

  - 

Revisions

  +78

(13)

  +7

(6)

31 December 2020

  240

  505

  293

  798

GKP's 80% net WI4 share of reserves and resources at 31 December 2020 were: 

1P

2P

2C 1

2P+2C 2

Formation (80% WI) (MMstb)

  Reserves

Resources

Jurassic

  192

  404

  64

  468

Triassic

  - 

  - 

  125

  125

Cretaceous

  - 

  - 

  45

  45

Total - Net WI

192

404

  234

638

1.  Contingent resources volumes are classified as such because there is technical and commercial risk involved with their extraction. In particular, there may be a chance that accumulations containing contingent resources will not achieve commercial maturity. The 2C (best estimate) contingent resources presented are not risked for chance of development.

2.  Aggregated 2P+2C estimates should be used with caution as 2C contingent resources are commercially less mature than the 2P reserves.

3.  Reserves life index is calculated as gross 1P reserves or gross 2P reserves, as appropriate, divided by annualised January 2021 gross production.

4.  Net working interest reserves and resources do not represent the net entitlement resources under the terms of the PSC.

 (Source: GKP)

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DNO Adds New Oil Reserves

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has announced it replaced 87 percent of 2020 production through additions to its proven (1P) reserves notwithstanding reduced activity in the wake of low oil prices.

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Company replaced 111 percent of last year's production through additions to 1P reserves.

Yearend 2020 Company Working Interest (CWI) 1P reserves totaled 201 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) compared to 206 MMboe at yearend 2019, after adjusting for 35 MMboe of production and 30 MMboe of upward technical revisions.

DNO exited the year with 332 MMboe of CWI proven and probable (2P) reserves and 507 MMboe of CWI proven, probable and possible (3P) reserves. DNO's CWI contingent (2C) resources stood at 152 MMboe.

At yearend 2020, DNO's 1P reserves life stood at 5.8 years, its 2P reserves life at 9.6 years and its 3P reserves life at 14.6 years; all were up slightly from 2019 levels.

On a gross basis, yearend 1P reserves at the Tawke license in Kurdistan containing the Tawke and Peshkabir fields climbed to 234 million barrels of oil (MMbbls) from 228 MMbbls a year earlier. Tawke license 2P reserves stood at 394 MMbbls at yearend 2020 (400 MMbbls in 2019) and 3P reserves at 605 MMbbls (641 MMbbls in 2019).

Across its North Sea portfolio at yearend 2020, on a CWI basis, DNO's 1P reserves stood at 41 MMboe, 2P reserves at 64 MMboe and 3P reserves at 96 MMboe. The Company's North Sea 2C resources totaled 120 MMboe.

At yearend 2020 and on a gross basis, at the Baeshiqa license in Kurdistan containing two large structures with multiple independent stacked target reservoirs, 2C resources stood at 43 MMbbls, following successful drilling and testing of the exploration Baeshiqa-2 and Zartik-1 wells. No reserves were recorded at the Baeshiqa license at yearend 2020 pending conclusion of the ongoing appraisal activities to determine commerciality.

"All things considered, from a reserves replacement perspective DNO had a stellar year in 2020 notwithstanding the sharp cuts in our spend and the challenges of keeping operations going in the face of Covid restrictions in movement of our people, contractors and supplies," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO's Executive Chairman.

International petroleum consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) carried out an independent assessment of the Tawke and Baeshiqa licenses in Kurdistan. Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) carried out an independent assessment of DNO's licenses in Norway and the United Kingdom.

(Source: DNO)

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