Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that Jón Ferrier (pictured), Chief Executive Officer, has informed the Board of his intention to retire from the Company upon appointment of a successor and after a period of handover.

The Company is now commencing a formal, externally facilitated, search process and will provide an update as and when appropriate.

Jaap Huijskes, Chairman of the Company, said:

Jón Ferrier took the helm five years ago, immediately leading the Company through its financial restructuring and breathing new life into GKP as an attractive investment proposition.  He has brought us the experience he gained over a long and distinguished career, resulting in GKP meeting the highest standards across all aspects of its business. 

“Today, Gulf Keystone is a highly respected and successful E&P Company, for which Jón deserves considerable credit.  On behalf of the Board and everyone within the Company I would like to thank Jón for his leadership and resolute commitment over the past five years.  We will be sad to see him step down when a successor is found and wish him all the best for his retirement.”   

(Source: GKP)

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided an operational and corporate update in advance of Friday’s Annual General Meeting:

Jón Ferrier, Gulf Keystone’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and macroeconomic conditions, we took decisive actions to preserve liquidity and safeguard the long-term health of the business. We are now well placed to weather the current environment and are able to move quickly back to growth at the right time. 

“Our cost reduction initiatives have been thorough, and I am grateful to our staff and contractors for their commitment and support.  Whilst uncertainty around the timing of the end of the crisis persists, the partial oil price recovery gives us some grounds for optimism about the future and our return to delivering the significant untapped value in Shaikan.

Operational

  • Maintaining strong focus on safety with zero LTIs recorded in 2020.
  • In order to protect all personnel, the Company continues to actively manage its working practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic observing all of the appropriate protection measures.
  • Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, production operations continue at c.36,000 bopd (gross). Average gross production for the year to date is 37,232 bopd.
  • DQE’s Rig 40 has been stacked on site at zero cost, which will aid the timely resumption of drilling activities, when appropriate.
  • During this period of reduced activity, the Company continues to optimise its plans for a quick and effective restart of the 55,000 bopd expansion project.

Financial

  • As a result of a continued rationalisation of the organisation, expenditures, and contract renegotiations, the Company remains on track to achieve its previously announced target of Opex and G&A savings in excess of 20% in 2020 compared to 2019. On a run-rate basis, we are targeting to achieve savings of c.30%.
    • The Company is introducing 2020 guidance for Opex of $2.7 to $3.1 per barrel (vs $3.9 per barrel in 2019).
    • The workforce is in the process of being reduced by c.40%, including over 60% of expatriates, due to the reduction in the work programme.
  • Capex for 2020 remains in the range $40 – $48 million (net), a 50% reduction compared to 2019, of which $30 million (net) had been spent by the end of April 2020.
  • Cash balance of $144 million as at 17 June 2020.
  • Payments by the Kurdistan Regional Government to GKP are in line with the peer group, with invoices from March 2020 onwards being settled the following month. There is an ongoing dialogue relating to the payment of invoices for November 2019 to February 2020, aggregating $73 million (net).

Corporate

  • Garrett Soden is to be welcomed back to the Board of GKP as a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director representing funds managed by Lansdowne Partners Austria.
  • Mr Soden will be formally appointed following completion of the appointment process and will bring valuable financial and industry experience.  Mr Soden was a Non-Executive Director between 2016 and 2019 and he has undertaken to conform to UK corporate governance standards in respect of external appointments.

Outlook

  • With the Company’s ongoing prudent approach to managing its financial position and the decisive measures taken to reduce its cost structure to preserve liquidity, GKP remains financially resilient to manage through the current macro environment.
  • Despite a partial recovery in oil price, the Company closely monitors market dynamics and will continue to take the appropriate actions to preserve value in Shaikan.
  • GKP looks forward to resuming investment and shareholder distributions when conditions allow.

(Source: GKP)

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that it was informed on 30th April 2020 of the following transactions by persons discharging managerial responsibilities and persons closely associated with them.

Mr Ian Weatherdon (pictured), Chief Financial Officer, purchased 50,112 common shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited on 30 April 2020 at a price of 79.8p per share. In total Mr Weatherdon owns 50,112 common shares in the Company representing 0.024% of the issued share capital.

Mr Gabriel Papineau-Legris, Chief Commercial Officer, purchased 20,000 common shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited on 30 April 2020 at an average price of 84.225p per share. In total Mr Papineau-Legris owns 30,000 common shares in the Company representing 0.014% of the issued share capital.

(Source: GKP)

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were up around 10 percent on Thursday morning, following the company’s announcement of its results for the year ended 31 December 2019.

Jón Ferrier (pictured), Gulf Keystone’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

2019 saw a step change in activity at Shaikan; we delivered production and controlled expenditures in line with guidance, returned just under $100 million to our shareholders, and maintained a strong balance sheet with cash of $164 million at 22 April 2020. 

The current oil price and macro-economic uncertainty continues to have profound, far-reaching effects. We have taken concrete steps to protect value and assure the viability and financial strength of our business, both for today and the longer-term. As previously announced, we have suspended guidance and, while we were on-track to achieve 55,000 bopd in Q3 2020, we have stopped further expansion activity and are currently demobilising the team until circumstances improve. While we have secured ongoing production operations, we continue to closely monitor market dynamics and will take appropriate further actions to preserve value.

“We continue to focus on strict financial discipline and maintaining our strong balance sheet.  GKP remains underpinned by Shaikan, which continues to perform in line with expectations, and we look forward to resuming expansion activity and delivering the underlying value of the field for all stakeholders upon resolution of the outstanding payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”) and an improvement in economic conditions.”

 Highlights to 31 December 2019 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Robust safety performance during a period of increased operational activity.
  • GKP remains committed to the welfare of all personnel and the safety of our operations. To limit the risk and transmission of COVID-19, only location essential personnel are working at GKP sites and offices.  
  • Average gross production in 2019 of 32,883 bopd, in line with original guidance.
  • Gross production from the field in 2020 to date of c.38,000 bopd.
  • As a result of COVID-19, the focus on cost control and overdue payments from the KRG, operations have been reduced to focus on minimum safety critical activities required for production.
  • Once macro conditions improve, including resolution of outstanding payments from the KRG, the Company will restart expansion activity to increase production to 55,000 bopd.

Financial

  • In 2019, the Company achieved its production, capital expenditures, operating costs and G&A costs guidance.
  • Profit after tax of $43.5 million (FY 2018: $79.9 million) and revenue of $206.7 million (FY 2018: $250.6 million) were down, as Brent oil prices averaged $64 per barrel in 2019 compared to $71 per barrel in 2018.
  • Net capital investment in Shaikan of $90.0 million (FY 2018: $35.4 million).
  • Maiden dividend and share buyback programmes returned $79 million in 2019. Subsequent completion of the share buyback programme brought total returns to $99 million.
  • Cash balance of $190.8 million at year end (2018: $295.6 million).

Outlook

  • The Company is actively focused on maintaining a robust financial position and is targeting a major reduction of costs across the business, while maintaining a strong focus on safety and long-term asset reliability. These actions are being taken in response to the current oil price environment and in anticipation of a protracted recovery:
    • net Capex for 2020 include expenditures incurred to date and remaining firm commitments andare expected to be $40-$48 million ($50-$60 million gross), a c.50% reduction compared to 2019;
    • targeted Opex and G&A savings of at least 20%; and
    • in process of reducing expatriate workforce by c.60%.
  • The KRG has committed to paying for monthly production by the 15th day of each following month starting with March 2020, for which payment was recently received.  Dialogue with the KRG is continuing relating to payment of outstanding invoices for November 2019 to February 2020 aggregating $93.7 million gross ($73.3 million net to GKP).
  • Guidance for 2020 suspended until the outlook becomes clearer.
  • Resumption of distributions is dependent on an improvement in macro-economic conditions, resolution of outstanding payments from the KRG and a clear operational outlook.
  • With a strong balance sheet, limited capital commitments and an existing low-cost production base, GKP is well placed to navigate through these challenging conditions and, if necessary, to withstand a lower oil price throughout 2020 and 2021.

The Company’s 2019 Full Year Results presentation is available on the investor relations section of the website: https://www.gulfkeystone.com/

(Source: GKP)

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has delayed payments to oil producers by several weeks.

In statements to the markets on on Thursday, Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) and Shamaran Petroleum said that payments relating to invoices for oil production in August and September, which were due to be paid in November and December, will be received in January 2020.

(Sources: Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), Shamaran Petroleum)

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has delayed payments to oil producers by several weeks.

In statements to the markets on on Thursday, Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) and Shamaran Petroleum said that payments relating to invoices for oil production in August and September, which were due to be paid in November and December, will be received in January 2020.

(Sources: Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), Shamaran Petroleum)

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided an operational and corporate update. 

Operational

  • Average gross production for the year up to 30 November 2019 of 32,127 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”).
  • November gross production averaged 40,582 bopd, with current production rates from the field at c.42,000 bopd.
  • GKP is therefore on track to meet its original gross production guidance for 2019 of 32,000-38,000 bopd.
  • The first well of the drilling campaign, SH-12 came onstream on 13 November. During commissioning, the well produced at rates up to 4,600 bopd, in line with expectations and is currently producing at c.4,000 bopd. 
  • The second well in the drilling campaign, SH-9 is a crucial part of the long-term field gas management plan and is designed to assess the gas reinjection potential of the Jurassic formation. The well, which was spudded on 19 October, encountered a faulted section requiring the well to be side-tracked to the Jurassic reservoir target.
  • The SH-9 side-track necessitates a revision to the drilling schedule. Assuming a duration of one month for the side-track, the Company now expects to reach the 55,000 bopd gross production target at Shaikan in Q3 2020.
  • The planned maintenance and debottlenecking shutdown at PF-2 was completed safely during October.
  • The PF-1 export pipeline is complete. Full oil export operations are expected to commence in the next 24 hours marking the end of export by trucking from the Shaikan Field.
  • Operations at Shaikan remain safe and secure, with no Lost Time Incidents (“LTI”) recorded in over 500 days.

Corporate

  • Cash balance of $206 million as at 9 December 2019.
  • With a robust cash position and the Company’s confidence in its delivery of the Shaikan project, a second share buyback programme for a further $25 million has been approved and an initial tranche of $15 million will be initiated today.

Jón Ferrier, CEO, commented:

The Company has made significant progress on a number of fronts; with the successful addition of SH-12 to the PF-2 production inventory and drilling of the gas appraisal well SH-9 where operations continue.  The imminent start of export through the PF-1 pipeline means all production from Shaikan will now be exported directly via pipeline, benefitting safety, reducing environmental impact and improving netbacks. 

“We are pleased to confirm that we are on track to achieve our initial average production guidance for 2019, and whilst the need to side-track SH-9 has slightly impacted our timing guidance for delivering 55,000 bopd, we remain on course to achieve further significant production growth in 2020.  

We are also pleased to announce the launch of a second $25 million share buyback programme, which is in line with our focus on returning value to shareholders, whilst retaining the capital necessary to grow the business.

(Source: GKP)

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has provided an operational and corporate update. 

Operational

  • Average gross production for the year up to 30 November 2019 of 32,127 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”).
  • November gross production averaged 40,582 bopd, with current production rates from the field at c.42,000 bopd.
  • GKP is therefore on track to meet its original gross production guidance for 2019 of 32,000-38,000 bopd.
  • The first well of the drilling campaign, SH-12 came onstream on 13 November. During commissioning, the well produced at rates up to 4,600 bopd, in line with expectations and is currently producing at c.4,000 bopd. 
  • The second well in the drilling campaign, SH-9 is a crucial part of the long-term field gas management plan and is designed to assess the gas reinjection potential of the Jurassic formation. The well, which was spudded on 19 October, encountered a faulted section requiring the well to be side-tracked to the Jurassic reservoir target.
  • The SH-9 side-track necessitates a revision to the drilling schedule. Assuming a duration of one month for the side-track, the Company now expects to reach the 55,000 bopd gross production target at Shaikan in Q3 2020.
  • The planned maintenance and debottlenecking shutdown at PF-2 was completed safely during October.
  • The PF-1 export pipeline is complete. Full oil export operations are expected to commence in the next 24 hours marking the end of export by trucking from the Shaikan Field.
  • Operations at Shaikan remain safe and secure, with no Lost Time Incidents (“LTI”) recorded in over 500 days.

Corporate

  • Cash balance of $206 million as at 9 December 2019.
  • With a robust cash position and the Company’s confidence in its delivery of the Shaikan project, a second share buyback programme for a further $25 million has been approved and an initial tranche of $15 million will be initiated today.

Jón Ferrier, CEO, commented:

The Company has made significant progress on a number of fronts; with the successful addition of SH-12 to the PF-2 production inventory and drilling of the gas appraisal well SH-9 where operations continue.  The imminent start of export through the PF-1 pipeline means all production from Shaikan will now be exported directly via pipeline, benefitting safety, reducing environmental impact and improving netbacks. 

“We are pleased to confirm that we are on track to achieve our initial average production guidance for 2019, and whilst the need to side-track SH-9 has slightly impacted our timing guidance for delivering 55,000 bopd, we remain on course to achieve further significant production growth in 2020.  

We are also pleased to announce the launch of a second $25 million share buyback programme, which is in line with our focus on returning value to shareholders, whilst retaining the capital necessary to grow the business.

(Source: GKP)

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced the appointment of Ian Weatherdon as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”).

Mr Weatherdon has over 25 years’ experience in the international oil and gas industry and joins GKP from Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Limited where he was CFO.  Sino Gas is an energy company focused on developing natural gas assets in China and was an Australian listed Company (ASX:SEH) until acquired by a private equity firm.

Prior to this, he held various executive roles, including; Vice President of Finance & Planning for the Asia-Pacific region, and Vice President of Investor Relations for Talisman Energy Inc., the Canadian exploration and production company which was acquired by Repsol in 2015.  He also held the CFO role at Equión Energía Limited, a Colombian joint venture between Talisman Energy Inc. and Ecopetrol SA.

Mr Weatherdon was educated at the University of Calgary before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Mr Weatherdon will join the Board of GKP and assume the CFO role on 13th January 2020.  As previously announced, Sami Zouari will step down as CFO and a Director of the Company on 2nd December 2019, but will assist Mr Weatherdon for a short handover period.

Jaap Huijskes, Chairman of the Company, said:

Following a thorough search process, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Weatherdon as CFO.  Ian brings a wealth of highly relevant finance experience within the sector to the management team, and to the Board.  We look forward to him joining the team and to his contribution.  

“On behalf of the Company, I would like to again thank Sami Zouari for his outstanding contribution to Gulf Keystone, since joining the Company in 2015. We wish him all the best for the future.

Save as disclosed below there is no further information to be disclosed pursuant to sections LR 9.6.11, LR 9.6.12 or LR 9.6.13 of the Listing Rules, FCA Handbook.

Previous Directorships/Partnerships:

  • Talisman SAE Pte Ltd
  • Sino Gas and Energy Holdings
  • Daily Glory Investment Limited
  • Lucky Asia Industrial Limited

(Source: GKP)

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) closed Friday up 3.5 percent after the company issued the following operational and corporate update ahead of its AGM:

Operational

  • Workovers on SH-1 and SH-3 have now been completed, resulting in the anticipated material production uplift at both wells.  Production from SH-1 has increased by 105% to 7,800 bopd and SH-3 by 40% to 6,200 bopd.
  • The SH-12 well (formerly called SH-H) was spudded on 7 June with DQE’s Rig 40, signalling the commencement of the Company’s drilling campaign; a major milestone for Gulf Keystone.
  • The next well, forecasted to spud in Q4 2019, will be SH-9 which aims to assess the feasibility of gas reinjection into the Jurassic formation, rather than the originally planned Jurassic production well.
  • The workovers to install Electric Submersible Pumps (“ESP”) will take place in Q4 2019. 
  • As part of the 2019 work-programme, PF-1 was shut down on 10 June for planned maintenance and the installation of equipment required for the 55,000 bopd de-bottlenecking project. The facility is scheduled to be offline for approximately 15-20 days.
  • The installation of the PF-1 export pipeline infrastructure continues. The pipeline is now installed, and export pumps and the associated controls are currently being fitted.  The pipeline is expected to be operational in Q3 2019.
  • Average gross production of 29,993 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) achieved to date in 2019 with production levels of 38,100 bopd attained prior to the PF-1 shut down.
  • Full year production guidance remains unchanged, although due to changes in the drilling schedule average gross production in 2019 is currently expected to be at the lower end of the 32,000 – 38,000 bopd guidance. 
  • As a result of the revised timeframe, the 55,000 bopd production target is now expected to be achieved in Q2 2020, as opposed to previous guidance of Q1 2020.

Corporate

  • At the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources (“MNR”), GKP and its partner MOL re-submitted a revised Field Development Plan (“FDP”) on 23 May 2019 to address additional MNR requests on gas management. The FDP is currently under review by the MNR.
  • Cash balance of $290 million as at 20 June 2019. The Company remains fully funded for all phases of the Shaikan expansion programme.
  • As part of the Company’s dividend policy, and subject to approval at today’s AGM, a $50 million dividend will be paid, comprising an ordinary annual dividend of $25 million and a special dividend of $25 million, to be paid in 2019.
  • The Company also intends to initiate a share repurchase programme subject to shareholder approval at today’s AGM.

Commenting, Jón Ferrier, CEO, said:

Operational activity has intensified and good progress is being made across all fronts of our Shaikan expansion programme, including investment into the 75,000 bopd expansion and the gas re-injection project. 

“We are pleased to have started the drilling campaign, in addition to seeing promising results with the workovers drilled at SH-1 and SH-3, both of which have increased in output significantly, and all of which serve to achieve our near term production targets. 

“Furthermore, we look forward to bringing our new export pipeline into service later in the year eliminating the need for trucking and reducing HSSE exposure.

(Source: GKP)