By John Lee.

Pearl Petroleum is reportedly planning to raise additional funding for its drilling and development in Iraqi Kurdistan,

According to Reuters, Patrick Allman-Ward, the chief executive of Dana Gas, which is the majority owner of Pearl Petroleum, told reporters that the funding will “comprise a mix of bank debt, a bond, Exim bank financing as well as contractor and vendor financing.

The company is developing that Khor Mor and Chemchemal gas fields in Iraqi Kurdistan.

(Source: Reuters)

Pearl Petroleum Company Limited, the consortium led by Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas of the UAE, has signed a new 20-year Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to enable production and sales of an additional 250 MMscf/day that the consortium aims to produce by 2021 as part of their expansion plans in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in order to boost much needed local domestic electricity generation.

Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement reached between the parties in August 2017, this new gas sales agreement was signed on 19th February 2019 by Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Natural Resources on behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Board Managing Director of Dana Gas, on behalf of Pearl Petroleum.

All approvals for the agreement, including by the the Kurdistan Region Council for Oil & Gas Affairs and the Board of Pearl Petroleum, have since been granted, with  project work now under implementation.

The Kurdistan Gas Project was established in 2007 as Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum entered into agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for certain exclusive rights to appraise, develop, produce, market, and sell petroleum from the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

Production from the newly built plant in Khor Mor began just 15 months later, in October 2008. In 2009, Pearl Petroleum was formed as a consortium with Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum as shareholders, and with OMV, MOL, and RWE joining the consortium subsequently with a 10% share each.

The $700 million expansion underway at the Khor Mor plant will include the addition of two new production trains at the Khor Mor plant, as well as drilling of new wells with plans to raise production from the current 400 MMscf/day to reach 650 MMscf/day by 2021 based on this latest GSA, and then to 900 MMscf/day beyond that by 2022.

This follows the 30% production increase from debottlenecking throughput at the Khor Mor plant, which brought current total production to 106,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), making it the largest regional private sector upstream gas operation in Iraq today.

Gas sales commenced late in 2018 under a gas sales agreement signed in January of that year, and all payments have been received in a timely manner in full, which gives confidence for the investment and expansion plans currently underway by the Consortium. The Kurdistan Gas Project, which recently commemorated 10 years of continuous production, supplies natural gas from the Khor Mor field by pipeline to power plants in Bazian, Chemchemal and Erbil, as well as LPG and condensate, which are sold in the local markets.

In August 2017, Pearl Petroleum reached a full and final settlement with the KRG of the arbitration between them, including settlement of past receivables and committing to expand their investment and operations in the region. These expansion plans include the multi-well drilling program currently underway in both the Khor Mor & Chemchemal fields, as well as installation of additional gas processing and liquids extraction facilities. The fields are operated jointly by Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas on behalf of Pearl Petroleum.

Total investment in the Kurdistan Gas Project to date exceeds $1.6 billion, with total cumulative production of over 260 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), delivering billions of dollars in fuel cost savings and wider economic benefits for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole. That impact will continue to grow as production capacity expands in the coming years.

Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said:

“This agreement is an important step for us as we deliver improved services to the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through enhanced electricity generation from the increase in gas production by the Consortium. The Kurdistan Region holds significant reserves of gas and the KRG is committed to playing a positive role in the growing gas and electricity needs of Iraq and the region.”

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

“This gas sales agreement opens a new chapter in the expansion of the Kurdistan Gas Project that will see a further investment of over $700 million in coming years to expand production up to 900 MMscf/day, further fueling the Region’s economic growth and development. We look forward to developing the significant resources from these important fields, for the benefit of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq.”

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

“Dana Gas and our partners in Pearl Petroleum are particularly 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 our second decade of production.”

As part of its work in the KRI, Pearl has implemented a corporate social responsibility program to support local communities, including providing school supplies, drinking water treatment, generators and fuel enabling 24-hour electricity for local villages, mobile medical units, and youth sports facilities, as well as financial support for 1,000 orphans from the Chemchemal area in partnership with a local charity Foundation.

These initiatives are assisting the local communities in improving their standard of living, health, well-being, security and stability and the development of human capital.

(Source: Dana Gas)

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will immediately pay $1 billion to the Pearl Consortium, including Dana Gas, and its partners to settle a long-running legal dispute.

In a joint press release, the Kurdistan Regional Government and Pearl Consortium announced the “full and final settlement” between the two parties.

Below is the full press release:

Settlement Agreement between Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (the “KRG”) and (i) Dana Gas PJSC; (ii) Crescent Petroleum Company International Limited; and (iii) Pearl Petroleum Company Limited (“Pearl”); together (the “Consortium”)

The KRG and the Consortium, together (the “Parties”), signed a Heads of Agreement onc and Chemchemal fields on 4 April 2007 (the “HoA”). Subsequently a dispute arose between them concerning certain matters under the HoA, and they referred this disputeon 21 October 2013 to an arbitration under LCIA case reference number 132527 (the “Arbitration”) for decision by an arbitral tribunal (the “Tribunal”) in London.

The Parties have mutually agreed to fully and finally settle all their differences amicably by terminating the Arbitration and related court proceedings, and releasing all remaining claims between them, including the substantial damages asserted by the Consortium against the KRG; implementing a mechanism for settlement of $2,239 million awarded by the Tribunal to date ; and proceeding with immediate further development of the HoA’s world class resources for mutual benefit as well as the benefit of the people of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq.

The agreed settlement highlights are as follows:

  • The KRG will immediately pay Pearl a sum of US$600 million.
  • The KRG will also immediately pay Pearl a further US$400 million to be dedicated for investment exclusively for the aforesaid further development to substantially increase production.
  • Pearl will increase gas production at Khor Mor by 500 MMscf/day, a 160% increase on the current level of production (the “Additional Gas”). The Additional Gas, together with significant additional amounts of condensate, is expected to begin production in approximately two years.
  • The balance of sums awarded by the Tribunal ($1,239 million) is no longer a debt owed by the KRG and will be reclassified as outstanding cost recoverable by Pearl from future revenues generated from the HoA areas.
  • The profit share allocated to Pearl from future revenues generated from the HoA areas are adjusted upwards to a level similar to the overall profit levels normally offered to IOCs under the KRG’s Production Sharing Contracts. This adjustment reflects the larger investment risks and costs involved in the development of natural gas resources compared to oil developments. After the recovery of costs and a return on investment by the Consortium, 78% of revenues generated from the HoA areas will be for the account of the KRG, and 22% for the account of Pearl.
  • The Parties have clarified the Khor Mor block boundary coordinates and the KRG has awarded the Consortium investment opportunities in the adjacent blocks 19 and 20, and added these to the HoA areas, with commitments by the Consortium to make appraisal investments on these blocks, and developments if commercial oil and gas resources are found.
  • The KRG will purchase 50% of the Additional Gas on agreed terms to boost the gas supply to power generation plants in the Kurdistan Region. The other 50% of the Additional Gas (250 mmscf/d) will be marketed and sold by Pearl to customers within Iraq or by export, or can be sold to the KRG as well to further boost power generation within Iraq.
  • Pearl will also expand its local training and employment programs towards achieving maximum localization and content, as well as supporting local communities through its active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
  • The Parties have exchanged mutual releases, waivers, and discharges in relation to all claims in relation to the Arbitration and related court proceedings.
  • The Parties have also amended and clarified the HoA language and terms, including extension of the term of the contract until 2049.

The Parties are very pleased with their settlement and and look forward to working together to maximise the full potential of the HoA areas, for their mutual benefit as well as that of the people of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq.

Under the settlement, the people of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq will enjoy additional revenues and improved electricity supply. The Parties believe that this settlement agreement confirms to international investors that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq offers an attractive and secure environment for investment.

H.E. Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Natural Resources of the KRG, said:

“The companies’ investment and production to date has already delivered substantial benefits for the Kurdistan Region through enabling cost-effective power generation. We are delighted by the outcome of this settlement which opens a new chapter in the relationship between the parties and will take the development of the important natural gas sector to new heights.”

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

“We have always expressed our commitment to amicable resolution of matters to enable proper development of the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields. We are pleased with this definitive agreement which follows constructive dialogue with the KRG and promises to generate significant value for all concerned. The settlement of all debts and restoration of full cooperation gives a positive outlook for further investment and full realization of the enormous resource potential of the HoA areas.”

(Sources: KRG, Dana Gas)

By John Lee.

Bloomberg reports that Dana Gas PJSC is still waiting for payment of the $1.98 billion that it and two other energy companies — Crescent Petroleum and Pearl Petroleum — were awarded by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in November.

The court gave the Kurdistan Regional Government 28 days to pay when it made its ruling on 29th November. The KRG disputed the judgement, claiming that the court had yet to hear its counterclaims.

Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO of the Sharjah-based company, told Bloomberg he did not expect to be paid all in one go, and is open to getting paid over time.

The claims relate to payment for production at the Khor Mor and Chemchamal gas fields.

(Source: Bloomberg Business)

By John Lee.

Dana Gas has announced that the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has ordered the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pay $1.98 billion to a consortium that it leads.

In a statement to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, the Sharjah-based company claims that the judgement is final, binding and internationally enforceable, and that payment must be made within 28 days.

The claims relate to payment for production at the Khor Mor and Chemchamal gas fields.

Meanwhile, the KRG has hit back, pointing out that the court has yet to hear its counterclaims, provisionally quantified by the KRG’s experts at more than $3 billion, and accusing the consortium of creating “an impression that is materially misleading and incomplete”.

Shares in Dana Gas have risen 17 percent, on heavy volume, since the announcement.

(Sources: Dana Gas, KRG, Reuters, BasNews)