Genel Confirms Increased year-on-year Production

Genel Energy has issued the following statement relating to the Company's Annual General Meeting ('AGM'), which is being held today:

Bill Higgs (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"The addition of production at Sarta and the robust performance of Tawke year-to-date has increased year-on-year production in line with guidance. With a strong balance sheet, our high-potential appraisal drilling campaign is now underway following the spud of the QD-2 well at Qara Dagh. With the increase in oil price and beginning of catch up payments from the KRG, despite our investment in growth and payment of a material dividend, we expect to end 2021 with a material cash position."

"As detailed in our full-year results, 2020 illustrated the resilience of our business, and laid the foundations for a year of growth in 2021, with material drilling catalysts.

"Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 in the operating environment in 2021, we continue to carry out our work programmes across all producing and appraisal assets as we aim to deliver on the significant near and long-term potential in the portfolio.

"Continuing robust production at the Tawke PSC, coupled with the addition of production from our fourth producing field at Sarta, means that working interest production averaged 33,100 bopd in the first four months of 2021, an increase of 4% compared to the 2020 average, in line with guidance.

"DNO ASA, as operator of the Tawke PSC (Genel 25% working interest), today issued an update on licence activity, where spend early in the year on drilling of new wells and workovers of existing ones helped sustain gross operated production at 112,000 bopd in the first quarter, up from 110,000 bopd in the previous quarter. The Peshkabir field contributed 61,400 bopd, and Tawke 50,600 bopd.

"12 wells are forecast on the licence in 2021, of which nine are at Tawke and three at Peshkabir. DNO has increased gross operated Tawke licence full-year 2021 production guidance to 110,000 bopd.

"Genel's high-potential drilling campaign has now begun, with the QD-2 well having spud on 19 April 2021. This well is set to appraise the crest of a 50 km long structure at Qara Dagh, around 10 km from the location of the QD-1 well, which flowed light oil in 2011, despite being drilled down dip and in a sub-optimal manner in an era predating Genel and Chevron's much evolved understanding of the subsurface situation and required drilling strategy. Results from the QD-2 well are anticipated in late Q3 2021. As we step up our work at the field, we are further ramping up our social investment programme, working with local companies to deliver projects that respond to the requirements of local communities.

"Sarta is producing at a mechanically constrained gross rate of c.8,500 bopd, pending ongoing surface facilities de-bottlenecking. These actions are expected to result in production once again reaching c.10,000 bopd in the near future.

"Mobilisation of two drilling rigs at the licence is now underway, ahead of the spudding of the Sarta-5 and Sarta-1D wells next month. The Sarta-5 well is set to test multiple reservoir intervals up-dip of the Sarta-2 and Sarta-3 producing wells, and results are expected around the end of Q3. A second rig will drill the Sarta-1D well, a sidetrack well from the Sarta-1 well pad, with results expected at a similar time to Sarta-5. Following the construction of a flow line to the early production facility, production is expected from this well around the end of 2021. With the Sarta-6 well set to be drilled immediately after Sarta-5, analysis of pilot production data and the results of the appraisal well programme will provide an enhanced understanding of the greater resource potential of Sarta and inform the optimal development plan to exploit it.

"The continued oil price strength has helped to further increase the value of our high-margin production. Our cash position at the end of April was $266 million, a net debt position of $3 million, with $36 million owed by the KRG for production in March 2021. Given our expectation that payments will remain timely, we forecast ending 2021 with a material net cash position.

"This financial strength supports the paying of a material dividend, as we continue to offer investors a compelling mix of growth and returns. Pending approval of our final dividend of 10ยข per share at today's AGM, the ex-dividend date is 13 May, with payment on 14 June 2021."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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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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Genel Energy Directors Step Down

Genel Energy has announced that Martin Gudgeon and Esa Ikaheimonen have each tendered their resignation as Director of the Company with effect from the close of the Annual General Meeting later today, and accordingly the resolutions relating to their re-appointment have been withdrawn.

Esa Ikaheimonen remains in his role as Chief Financial Officer.

Martin Gudgeon was Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Board Committee memberships are under review and updates will be made when appropriate.

David McManus, Chairman of Genel, said:

"Martin brought a wealth of experience of the financial markets to the Board of Genel, and has been an important part of our Board discussions. I thank Martin for his valuable contribution to the Company. I also take this opportunity to thank Esa for his valued and continuing contribution to Genel. As Chief Financial Officer, Esa remains integral to the further strengthening of Genel's already strong financial position, with robust finances supporting a material dividend and re-investment in significant growth opportunities."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Terrorist Attack on Bai Hassan Oil Field

By John Lee.

A terrorist attack on the Bai Hassan oilfield in Kirkuk early on Wednesday has caused casualties and damage.

A statement from the Ministry of Oil said that wells 177 and 183 were bombed, and "a number of security forces and energy police were killed and wounded".

The safety and firefighting teams from the North Oil Company (NOC) and the supporting authorities were able to quickly extinguish the fire at well 177, but were still working to control the fire of well 183.

Sources told Reuters that production was not affected.

It's the second attack on the facility in less than a month; a bomb in April did not result in damage or injury.

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, Reuters)

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Iraq to Invest $3bn in Basra Gas Company

By John Lee.

Iraq's Oil Minister, Ihssan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail (pictured), has said that Iraq will invest $3 billion in the Basra Gas Company (BGC) over the next five years, as it pushes ahead with plans to increase gas production.

The money will fund projects intended to increase BGC's gas production capacity from 1,000 to 1,400 million standard cubic feet per day this year, and further to 2,400 million standard cubic feet per day by 2025.

There will also be an increase this year in the quantities of LPG, up from 30,000 tons to 70,000 per month.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Iraq may Buy Exxon stake in West Qurna 1

By John Lee.

Press reports quote Iraq's oil minister as saying that Iraq could buy ExxonMobil's 32.7-percent stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field.

Ihssan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail told a news conference on Monday that the government might purchase the stake via the state-owned Basra Oil Company (BOC).

BOC previously took over the Majnoon field from Shell and Petronas at the end of June 2018.

It had previously been rumoured (see here and here) that China would take over Exxon's holding in West Qurna 1.

Earlier this year, ExxonMobil sold its share in the Baeshiqa license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to DNO.

(Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg)

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COVID-19: Iraq announces 10-Day Lockdown

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet on Tuesday approved a recommendation by the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety to impose a 10-day full curfew from May 12th to 22nd, following a rise in COVID-19 infections across the country.

All malls, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, event and wedding halls, swimming pools and gyms will be closed and public and private gatherings will be prohibited.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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Iraq Oil Export Volumes Flat for April

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for April of 88,398,319 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.947 million barrels per day (bpd), effectively the same as the 2.946 million bpd exported in March.

The exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 85,534,916 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,863,403 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $5.525 billion at an average price of $62.505 per barrel.

March's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Iraqi, Syrian Oil Ministers discuss Gas Imports

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, Syrian oil ministers discuss gas imports

The Iraqi and Syrian oil ministers talked about the possibility of transporting Egyptian gas to Iraq through Syria during a meeting in Baghdad.

Click here to read the full story.

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