By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

Genel Energy has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2019.

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

These results demonstrate the continued success of our strategy -highly cash generative productionunderpins capital investment in growth opportunities that deliver rapid returns and enables a compelling cash return to shareholders through our dividend.

“Our production grew 17% in H1 2019, and pro forma free cash flow rose to $76 million. This cash generation, and our strong balance sheet, allows us to both increase investment in growing the business as well as returning cash to shareholders via dividends. Accordingly, we have today announced an interim dividend of $14 million.

“Disciplined capital allocation remains at the core of our business. The speed with which our investments pay back means that cash is quickly recycled to create most value for shareholders. The cash that our production generates funds worknow underway at Sarta and Qara Dagh, with plenty left over to both pay a dividend and seek new opportunities, as we progress Genel’s growth strategy.

Results summary ($ million unless stated)

H1

2019

H1

2018

FY

2018

Production (bopd, working interest) 37,400 32,100 33,700
Revenue 194.3 161.1 355.1
EBITDAX 1 167.3 137.4 304.1
  Depreciation and amortisation (74.8) (63.6) (136.2)
  Exploration (expense) / credit (0.6) (0.5) 1.5
  Impairment of intangible assets (424.0)
Operating profit / (loss) 91.9 73.3 (254.6)
Cash flow from operating activities 142.3 125.1 299.2
Capital expenditure 72.2 34.1 95.5
Free cash flow2 56.7 70.1 164.2
Pro forma free cash flow2 75.6 70.1 164.2
Dividend payments 27.4
Cash3 353.3 233.2 334.3
Total debt 300.0 300.0 300.0
Net cash (debt)4 55.8 (63.8) 37.0
Basic EPS (¢ per share) 27.2 21.3 (101.6)
Underlying EPS (¢ per share)1 59.9 49.2 109.0
  1. EBITDAX is operating profit / (loss) adjusted for the add back of depreciation and amortisation ($74.8 million) and exploration expense ($0.6 million). Underlying EPS is EBITDAX divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares
  2. Free cash flow is set out on page 7 and does not include $18.9 million, invoiced for Tawke production and due in June 2019 and received late on 9 July 2019, with the delay due to a change in the Operator’s banking arrangements. Pro forma free cash flow of $75.6 million includes this payment.
  3. Cash reported at 30 June 2019 excludes $10 million of restricted cash and the $18.9 million noted above
  4. Reported IFRS debt less cash

Highlights

  • Working interest production averaged 37,400 bopd in H1 2019 (H1 2018: 32,100 bopd), an increase of 17% compared to H1 2018
    • 8 wells completed in H1 2019, resulting in year-on-year production increases at both the Tawke and Taq Taq PSCs
  • Free cash generation of $57 million in H1 2019 (H1 2018: $70 million), which increases to $76 million when including the post period receipt of $19 million, with annual free cash flow yield of c.20% of current market capitalisation
  • Net cash of $56 million at 30 June 2019 (net debt of $64 million at 30 June 2018)
    • Following the receipt of all payments relating to April 2019, Genel had $390 million of cash as of 5 August 2019, a net cash position of $92 million
  • Addition of Sarta and Qara Dagh to the portfolio in January 2019 provides near-term production and material future growth potential
  • Maiden dividend distribution of 10¢ per share paid on 24 June 2019
  • Interim dividend of 5¢ per share confirmed
  • Genel retains an open mandate for a share buy-back programme of up to $10 million, and will continue to review purchasing opportunities

Outlook

  • Net production guidance in 2019 maintained at close to Q4 2018 levels of 36,900 bopd, an increase of c.10% year-on-year
  • Drilling programme ongoing, with over 10 wells set to be completed by early 2020
  • Active discussions with the Kurdistan Regional Government (‘KRG’) regarding Bina Bawi are ongoing, focused on agreeing the detailed commercial terms for the integrated Phase 1 oil and gas development and approval of the associated field development plans
  • Work continuing at Sarta to prepare for production by the middle of 2020
  • QD-2 well location agreed at Qara Dagh, well pad civil engineering work set to begin
  • Farm-out process relating to Somaliland acreage to begin in late Q3 2019
  • Genel expects to generate material free cash flow in H2 2019, even while investment in growth increases
    • 2019 capital expenditure is expected to be towards the top end of the $150-170 million guidance range
  • Searches for a new Chairman and Chief Operating Officer are progressing
  • The Company continues to actively pursue growth and is assessing opportunities to make value-accretive additions to the portfolio

More details here.

(Source: Genel Energy)

By Huda Baroud for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh visited Iraq July 15 to discuss importing Iraqi fuel. This falls within the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s quest for gradual economic disengagement from Israel.

Shtayyeh was accompanied to Baghdad by a delegation composed of Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara, Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs Riyad al-Malki, Minister of National Economy Khaled Assali, Minister of Agriculture Riyad Attari and Palestinian intelligence service head Majid Faraj. The delegation met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, President Barham Salih and parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri.

Click here to read the full story.

Chevening is the UK Government’s global scholarship programme that offers future leaders the unique opportunity to study in the UK. These scholarships are awarded to outstanding professionals from all over the world to pursue a one-year master’s degree in any subject at any UK university.

Chevening provides fully-funded scholarships, leaving you free to focus on achieving your academic goals and enjoying the experience of a lifetime.

You will live and study in the UK for a year, during which time you will develop professionally and academically, grow your network, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.

If you have ambition, leadership potential, and a strong academic background, we encourage you to apply before 5 November 2019.

Click here for details.

(Source: chevening.org)

By John Lee.

US-based Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has been awarded a $315,604,174 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, for F-16 Contractor Logistics Support Phase IV.

This contract provides the contractor logistics support and establish a training detachment at Balad Air Base, Iraq, for the government of lraq.

Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq; and Greenville, South Carolina, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2022.

This contract involves 100% foreign military sales to the country of Iraq. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

By John Lee.

US-based Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has been awarded a $315,604,174 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, for F-16 Contractor Logistics Support Phase IV.

This contract provides the contractor logistics support and establish a training detachment at Balad Air Base, Iraq, for the government of lraq.

Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq; and Greenville, South Carolina, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2022.

This contract involves 100% foreign military sales to the country of Iraq. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Iraq’s oil ministry said on Sunday it has no connection with an oil tanker seized by Iran’s IRGC in the Persian Gulf for smuggling fuel, a report said.

“The ministry does not export diesel to the international market,” the Arab country’s oil ministry said in a statement, Iraqi News Agency reported.

Iraq’s relevant authorities are working to gather information about the seized vessel, it added.

Two Iraqi port officials said initial information obtained show that the seized ship is owned by a private shipping company which is owned by an Iraqi private trader.

In a statement on Sunday, the IRGC Navy’s Public Relations Department said that the foreign ship had been captured by the military vessels patrolling the second naval zone in the Persian Gulf as part of the operations to detect and fight against organized smuggling.

The IRGC Navy’s patrol vessels confiscated the foreign tanker that was carrying 700,000 liters of smuggled fuel in a surprise operation after coordination with judicial authorities, it added.

According to the statement, the foreign ship was seized near Farsi Island, a tiny, barren island in the Persian Gulf.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Several members of Iraq’s parliament and the province’s deputy governor visited prisons near Mosul, Iraq, calling what they found a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

This happened two days after Human Rights Watch (HRW) released research detailing the horrible conditions of the prisons, which hold terrorism suspects.

Immediately after our report release, local authorities claimed Human Rights Watch’s research was “fallacious.” But the government’s tone has since changed. One parliamentarian admitted that “what Human Rights Watch reported was small relative to the actual catastrophe inside the prisons of Nineveh.

Nongovernmental organizations working on these issues have said that Human Rights Watch’s research has made their work easier. Human Rights Watch has also been told that the report release has positively supported their work and has sparked serious conversations in Baghdad about addressing prison conditions.

More here

(Source: HRW)

Seedstars World, the largest seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, hosted its Iraq round this Friday, at The Station, where 8 selected startups were invited to present their companies in front of the local jury panel.

The local winners were chosen for their innovative sustainable solutions on their different fields. The 1st winner of the competition was IOT Kids,  an online platform teaching kids how to code using scratch and also direct courses in certain private schools. IOT Kids will go on to represent Iraq at Seedstars Regional Summit.

In second place went to Tabib Baghdad, an online booking platform that connects doctors with patients.

Third place was taken by Ur Transport, a revolutionary airboat eco friendly design which will serve as the major future infrastructure for rivers.

After a careful screening and training on Day 1, the Seedstars team shortlisted 8 of the best seed-stage startups in Iraq who pitched on August 2 for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland. The list of the Jury members will included Ali Hili, Youth and Entrepreneurship at Zain Iraq, Bassem Abdel Hadi Hassan, Spokesperson for the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), Noor Alhandal, Chairman at Ashur International Bank, Khaled Alabadi, Project Manager at GE, Dhafer Hasan, Programme Analyst at UNDP and Anas Al-Chalabi, Business Development Manager at Social n’ Tech

A lot of partners have supported Seedstars at making this event happen. The Main Partners of the Event are Central Bank of Iraq continue to position themselves as great believers in the impact of entrepreneurship. The Local Partners of the event are The Station and Social N’ Tech . Further support is provided by Careem, one of the regions most successful startups, as Entrepreneurship Partners.

In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars closely worked with Mohammad Salah, who is representing the initiative throughout the year. “As the Seedstars ambassadors in Baghdad, we’re more than proud to have hosted the competition in Iraq; This event was a massive networking and funding opportunity to the finalists. Bringing Seedstars to Iraq will open the door for other global incubators, accelerators and competitions by encouraging them to expand to Iraq. we are here to make a difference, to create opportunities and give exposure to the ecosystem” explains Mohamad Salah , Managing Director at Social N Tech.

Mira Charkawi, Community Events Manager at Seedstars also said:

“At Seedstars, we believe talent and good ideas are everywhere. We see ourselves as a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs in places where normally people wouldn’t think startup ecosystem have such traction, growth and buzz. We are very excited to have been in Baghdad, highlighting such a bustling entrepreneurship ecosystem and we are here to witness the reality”.

Continuing on its world MENA tour, Seedstars World’s next stop is in Cairo taking place at Seedstars Seedspace on the 21&22 of August. Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. Startups are invited to apply on the above mentioned websites.

(Source: Seedstars)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is planning to build a new oil pipeline to Jordan which it is banking on to revive revenue sources, after years of war and instability.

In addition to expanding refineries and oil fields, Iraq is also planning to rehabilitate a pipeline via Turkey.

But it is not the first time Iraqis have heard plans like these and many say they will believe it when they see some change in their lives.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid visited Basra refinery in the third part of his series on Iraq’s energy sector: