Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), a leading independent operator and producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (“Kurdistan” or “Kurdistan Region”), has announced its results for the half year ended 30 June 2019.

Highlights to 30 June 2019 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Average production during August was 39,269 bopd, reflecting the positive results from the workover campaign and facilities debottlenecking at PF-1; gross production this month up to 8 September averaged 39,921 bopd.
  • Gross production for the first half of 2019 averaged 29,362 bopd.  Average production rates during H1 of 2019 were necessarily affected by wells being off-line for workovers and well maintenance, in addition to the planned shutdown of PF-1 to install facilities as part of the 55,000 bopd expansion project.
  • The first well of the drilling campaign, SH-12, successfully reached total depth (“TD”) of 2,112 metres on 23 August.  Well results were encouraging with the structure coming in 53 metres higher than prognosis.  The well is currently being completed and is expected to be on production later in October.
  • Following completion of SH-12, the rig will move to the second well of the campaign, SH-9.  This well is designed to assess the gas reinjection potential of the Jurassic formation; part of the longer-term gas management plan for the Shaikan development.
  • The workover campaign to install electrical submersible pumps (“ESPs”) in existing wells has been moved into 2020 to coincide with the availability of new permanent facilities being installed as part of the 55,000 bopd expansion programme.  These facilities will allow the wells to be cleaned-up more effectively when the ESPs are installed.
  • The PF-1 pipeline and export station are nearing completion and will be in full operation following commissioning at which point all Shaikan oil will be exported via pipe.
  • A revised Field Development Plan (“FDP”), which addressed additional feedback on gas management, was submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources (“MNR”) in May 2019.  We await formal feedback from the MNR and look forward to a constructive dialogue to finalise the FDP as soon as possible. As we have stated in the past, this delay is not slowing operations and progress on the 55,000 bopd work programme.
  • Operations at Shaikan remain safe and secure, with no Lost Time Incidents (“LTI”) in over 400 days.

Financial

  • Revenue of $95.6 million (H1 2018: $116.2 million).
  • EBITDA of $59.0 million (H1 2018: $61.6 million).
  • Profit after tax of $24.2 million (H1 2018: $26.7 million).
  • Growth in activity required to bring production to 55,000 bopd led to an increase in cash operating costs and cash operating costs per barrel in line with previous guidance to $18.4 million (H1 2018: $14.1million) and $3.9/bbl (H1 2018: $3.0/bbl) respectively.
  • Net capital investment in Shaikan of $32.4 million (H1 2018: $6.9 million). Full year capital investment guidance stands at $88-104 million net ($110-130 million gross).
  • Cash balance of $302.7 million at 30 June 2019 and $263.6 million at 9 September 2019.

Corporate

  • A $50 million dividend was approved at the June AGM. The first tranche of c.$17 million was paid in July 2019, with the second tranche of c.$33 million to be paid on 4 October 2019.
  • A $25 million share buyback programme was announced in July. The Company is pleased to confirm that the first tranche of $15 million was completed on 30 August.
  • Today, the Company is resuming its buyback programme for the remaining $10 million.
  • Following completion of the above, the Company will have returned $75 million to its shareholders in 2019.

Outlook

  • Active work programme to continue with the ongoing Jurassic drilling campaign, ESP workovers and completion of the debottlenecking plan with the Company remaining on track to deliver 55,000 bopd in Q2 2020.
  • Total capital expenditure of $200-230 million gross for the 55,000 bopd expansion programme remains in line with earlier guidance.
  • Gross production guidance for 2019 is now expected to be between 30,000-33,000 bopd, compared to previous guidance of 32,000-38,000 bopd.  This new guidance considers the delayed start to the drilling campaign, the postponement of the ESP workover campaign and the planned shutdown of PF-2 in October.

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

The first half of 2019 saw high levels of operational activity as we continue to develop Shaikan targeting a significant, phased, production uplift.  Despite some operational delays, we have made considerable headway towards our 55,000 bopd production target.

“Activity has further increased during H2 2019 as we remain on track to achieve this milestone in the first half of 2020.  As a consequence of the work to increase production in the longer term, the near-term production guidance for the full year has been reduced.  However, the Shaikan reservoir, the cornerstone of our equity story, continues to behave strongly.

“The Company has a robust balance sheet which supports operational funding requirements and expansion plans in addition to returning funds to shareholders.  The Company is therefore well positioned to deliver on its growth objectives for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Full statement here.

(Source: Gulf Keystone Petroleum)

By John Lee.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced its intention to commence a share buyback programme, using the company’s existing cash resources to make market purchases of Gulf Keystone common shares for a maximum consideration of US$25 million, with the first stage of that programme being initiated now to purchase Gulf Keystone shares for an initial amount of US$15 million.  

The buyback programme is aligned with the company’s focus on capital allocation and will be an accretive use of funds whilst not impacting the company’s ability to continue the execution of its existing investment programme.  It will be executed in accordance with the company’s general authorities to make on market purchases which was approved by shareholders at the company’s AGM on 21 June 2019.

The company has entered into an agreement with its brokers Canaccord Genuity Limited and Peel Hunt LLP to carry out purchases of the Initial Amount under the buyback programme on its behalf on an irrevocable and non-discretionary basis.

(Source: GKP)

Genel Energy has announced the appointment of Mike Adams (pictured) as Technical Director, and PDMR, with immediate effect.

The appointment follows a repositioning of the role of Chief Operating Officer (‘COO’), which is now split into ‘pre-production’ and ‘on production’ business lines. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, Mike is responsible for all pre-production activities including exploration, appraisal, and new asset acquisitions.

Mike has 28 years of experience in the oil and gas industry in a wide variety of exploration, exploitation and global business development roles. Prior to joining Genel in 2012, Mike worked in a series of technical and leadership positions for companies including British Gas, Amerada Hess, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, and Sterling Energy.

Genel expects to appoint a new COO in due course, who will be responsible for the performance of operated and non-operated producing assets.

Mike has joined Genel’s Executive Committee, along with Vrijesh Kumar (‘VK’) Gupta, who has been appointed Head of HSE and Risk Management. VK joined Genel in 2014 as Head of HSSE. There has not been a lost time incident at Genel/TTOPCO operations since 2015, constituting over eight million working hours, and Genel hit its target of zero losses of primary containment in 2018. TTOPCO has also achieved a five star grading from the Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit, which was conducted by the British Safety Council.

VK has 30 years of experience in oil and gas industry. Immediately prior to joining Genel, he was Vice President for HSSE for BG Group, UK, and has worked with ONGC and Enron Oil & Gas.

Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

As Genel’s operations expand we are growing capability across the Company. Work is beginning at both Sarta and Qara Dagh, which Mike was integral in bringing into the portfolio, and he and his team will work with Chevron to optimise the development of these assets. He will also drive our ongoing work to strengthen the Company through value-enhancing acquisitions. VK has done a great job in leading the development of our safety culture at Genel, and will continue to ensure that our focus remains on world-class performance.

“I am pleased to have them both join our Executive Committee, bringing their years of industry experience as we progress our growth plans.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced that Sami Zouari (pictured), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will be stepping down as CFO and a Director of the Company during the second half of the year, and will leave the business by no later than 2 December 2019.

Mr Zouari has been CFO of GKP since January 2015 overseeing both financial and commercial activities in the company.  Since joining, he has played a key role in the strategic turnaround of the business, in particular leading the 2016 implementation of a new capital structure, materially strengthening the Company’s balance sheet and bringing about a significant debt reduction.  In addition, he has overseen the $100 million bond refinancing completed in 2018, and, most recently, was instrumental in the introduction of the Company’s maiden dividend policy.

In addition to remuneration in respect of his six-month notice period which will run from the date of this announcement, Mr Zouari will remain eligible to receive a pro rata bonus under the Executive Bonus Scheme for the 2019 financial year.  With respect to Mr Zouari’s current outstanding options held under the 2016 Value Creation Plan (VCP), these will be retained by Mr Zouari and will vest according to the rules and normal operation of the VCP, subject to performance conditions being attained.

A leading search firm will be appointed to find Mr Zouari’s successor and the process is expected to be concluded over the coming months.  A further announcement will be made in due course.

Jaap Huijskes, Chairman of the Company, said:

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Sami for his substantial positive contribution over the past four and a half years.  He has played a pivotal role in bringing Gulf Keystone back from the brink of collapse and helping to shape it into the profitable company it is today.

“We wish Sami well for the future and look forward to an orderly handover to his successor over the coming months.”

Jón Ferrier, Chief Executive Officer, said: 

It has been a privilege to work with Sami who has been key in the overall turnaround of the company.  His legacy will be the strong financial position GKP enjoys today, which is in marked contrast to the Company he joined in early 2015. 

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with him over the coming months, at what remains an important time for us as we materially build production from the Shaikan Field.

“I echo the Chairman’s thanks for his important contribution to the Company throughout his tenure as CFO, and have no doubt that he will be employing his intellect, strategic grasp and leadership skills in his future endeavours.

(Source: GKP)

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were trading up 3 percent on Monday after the company provided an operational and corporate update on its operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Analyst Peel Hunt has reportedly re-issued its “Buy” rating during the morning.

Operational

  • Operational activity continues at the Shaikan Field (pictured) to complete the debottlenecking programme in 2019, in order to achieve the near-term production target of 55,000 bopd in Q1 2020
  • Progress is continuing with the export pipeline from PF-1 to the main export pipeline, which remains on schedule to become operational mid-year, at which point trucking of crude oil will be eliminated
  • The SH-1 workover to replace the existing tubing with larger bore tubing, has now been successfully concluded.  The result was positive with an increase in production from the well of approximately 50% to over 6,500 bopd
  • The IOT Rig 1 has been demobilised.  It will now complete a short workover for another operator nearby before returning to Shaikan for the remaining workovers in the 55,000 bopd expansion programme.  This will include the SH-3 tubing change-out, along with installation of Electric Submersible Pumps (“ESPs”) in wells SH-5, SH-10 and SH-11
  • DQE’s Rig 40 is currently being prepared ahead of the imminent Jurassic drilling campaign, which remains on schedule to be mobilised for the SH-H well later this month

Corporate

  • A renewal of the crude oil sales agreement has been signed between Gulf Keystone Petroleum International Ltd and the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”)
    • The KRG will purchase Shaikan crude oil directly injected at PF-2 into the Atrush export pipeline at the monthly average Dated Brent oil price minus a total discount of c.$21 per barrel for crude
    • Until the PF-1 pipeline is completed, the KRG will continue to purchase crude oil delivered by truck at a discount of c.$22 per barrel
    • The above discounts account for quality, domestic and international transportation costs
    • The agreement is effective from 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2020
  • The Company has received final clearance from Sonatrach in relation to the Ferkane Permit (Block 126). This officially marks Gulf Keystone’s exit from its Algerian operations.
    • This positive development will allow the Company to release $10 million of past liabilities

Outlook

Despite Q1 production having been affected by SH-1 being offline for the workover, and the export system being shut-down for maintenance for a week earlier this month, the Company maintains its 2019 gross average production guidance in the range of 32,000 – 38,000 bopd

 (Sources: GKP, Yahoo!, Financial Headlines)

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) closed 4.3 percent higher on Wednesday after the company provided an operational and corporate update.

Operational

  • Production operations, underpinned by strong performance of the Shaikan Jurassic reservoir, continue in line with expectations. Average gross production of 31,563 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) was achieved in 2018, at the upper end of the 27,000 – 32,000 bopd guidance.
  • The plant debottlenecking programme required to expand gross production capacity to 55,000 bopd from PF-1 and PF-2 remains on schedule for completion towards the end of 2019.
  • GKP has signed an agreement with Independent Oil Tools to use ‘Rig 1’ during the Company’s workover programme to replace tubing on SH-1 and SH-3 wells and install downhole pumps (“ESPs”) on three other existing wells. The rig has been mobilised and is currently performing a workover on the SH-1 well to install larger bore tubing to increase productivity.
  • GKP has also signed an agreement with the rig operator, DQE, to use ‘Rig 40’ for its upcoming drilling campaign, due to start in March 2019, with the first four wells (needed for the 55,000 bopd target) expected to be completed in Q1 2020.
  • Since July 2018, all production from PF-2 has been exported via the Atrush export pipeline which connects to the main Kurdish export pipeline. Additional pumps along with a temporary unloading facility have now been installed at PF-2 which allows the majority of production from PF-1 to be trucked to PF-2 and exported via pipeline. Today, only ca.3,000 bopd are exported by truck via Fishkhabour which lowers HSSE exposure.
  • Further progress has been made, including delivery of all 16″ pipeline to the field, on the installation by KAR Group of the pipeline also connecting PF-1 to the Atrush export pipeline. This remains on schedule to be brought into service mid-2019, at which point the residual trucking of crude oil will be eliminated.
  • GKP and its partner MOL have agreed on a staged investment programme to increase gross production up to 110,000 bopd by 2024. The revised Field Development Plan was submitted for approval to the Ministry of Natural Resources in October 2018. The current expansion to 55,000 bopd is already underway.

Corporate

  • GKP has continued to receive regular oil payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government, with cash receipts of $225 million net to GKP during 2018.
  • Cash balance of $294 million as at 15 January 2019. The Company remains fully funded to complete the expansion to 55,000 bopd.
  • Gross capital expenditure guidance for the total 55,000 bopd project phase remains unchanged at $200 million to $230 million.
  • Of the 2018 approved gross budget of $91 million, ca.$40 million has been transferred to early 2019 which was primarily driven by delays in delivery of drilling and well completion equipment.

Outlook

  • Given the active 2019 investment programme, particularly in new wells and workovers, the Company anticipates improved production levels this year and expects gross average production guidance to be in the range of 32,000 – 38,000 bopd.
  • The above guidance takes account the latest drilling and project schedules, but also the temporary plant shut-downs required in 2019 for the tie-in of new facilities and wells being offline while workovers are taking place.
  • 55,000 bopd production target moved to early 2020 due to delays in the delivery of equipment, affecting the start date of the drilling campaign, originally January, now March 2019.
  • The Company intends to host a Capital Markets Day in the first quarter of 2019. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Commenting, Jón Ferrier, CEO, said:

Having successfully laid the foundations for our expansion plans in 2018, we are very pleased to have now initiated our new investment programme at Shaikan.

“We continue to make considerable operational headway as we look to safely increase production to 55,000 bopd, in line with our strategy. 2019 is set to be another important year for Gulf Keystone and we look forward to keeping our stakeholders updated on our ongoing progress.”

(Source: GKP)

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) closed 4.3 percent higher on Wednesday after the company provided an operational and corporate update.

Operational

  • Production operations, underpinned by strong performance of the Shaikan Jurassic reservoir, continue in line with expectations. Average gross production of 31,563 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) was achieved in 2018, at the upper end of the 27,000 – 32,000 bopd guidance.
  • The plant debottlenecking programme required to expand gross production capacity to 55,000 bopd from PF-1 and PF-2 remains on schedule for completion towards the end of 2019.
  • GKP has signed an agreement with Independent Oil Tools to use ‘Rig 1’ during the Company’s workover programme to replace tubing on SH-1 and SH-3 wells and install downhole pumps (“ESPs”) on three other existing wells. The rig has been mobilised and is currently performing a workover on the SH-1 well to install larger bore tubing to increase productivity.
  • GKP has also signed an agreement with the rig operator, DQE, to use ‘Rig 40’ for its upcoming drilling campaign, due to start in March 2019, with the first four wells (needed for the 55,000 bopd target) expected to be completed in Q1 2020.
  • Since July 2018, all production from PF-2 has been exported via the Atrush export pipeline which connects to the main Kurdish export pipeline. Additional pumps along with a temporary unloading facility have now been installed at PF-2 which allows the majority of production from PF-1 to be trucked to PF-2 and exported via pipeline. Today, only ca.3,000 bopd are exported by truck via Fishkhabour which lowers HSSE exposure.
  • Further progress has been made, including delivery of all 16″ pipeline to the field, on the installation by KAR Group of the pipeline also connecting PF-1 to the Atrush export pipeline. This remains on schedule to be brought into service mid-2019, at which point the residual trucking of crude oil will be eliminated.
  • GKP and its partner MOL have agreed on a staged investment programme to increase gross production up to 110,000 bopd by 2024. The revised Field Development Plan was submitted for approval to the Ministry of Natural Resources in October 2018. The current expansion to 55,000 bopd is already underway.

Corporate

  • GKP has continued to receive regular oil payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government, with cash receipts of $225 million net to GKP during 2018.
  • Cash balance of $294 million as at 15 January 2019. The Company remains fully funded to complete the expansion to 55,000 bopd.
  • Gross capital expenditure guidance for the total 55,000 bopd project phase remains unchanged at $200 million to $230 million.
  • Of the 2018 approved gross budget of $91 million, ca.$40 million has been transferred to early 2019 which was primarily driven by delays in delivery of drilling and well completion equipment.

Outlook

  • Given the active 2019 investment programme, particularly in new wells and workovers, the Company anticipates improved production levels this year and expects gross average production guidance to be in the range of 32,000 – 38,000 bopd.
  • The above guidance takes account the latest drilling and project schedules, but also the temporary plant shut-downs required in 2019 for the tie-in of new facilities and wells being offline while workovers are taking place.
  • 55,000 bopd production target moved to early 2020 due to delays in the delivery of equipment, affecting the start date of the drilling campaign, originally January, now March 2019.
  • The Company intends to host a Capital Markets Day in the first quarter of 2019. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Commenting, Jón Ferrier, CEO, said:

Having successfully laid the foundations for our expansion plans in 2018, we are very pleased to have now initiated our new investment programme at Shaikan.

“We continue to make considerable operational headway as we look to safely increase production to 55,000 bopd, in line with our strategy. 2019 is set to be another important year for Gulf Keystone and we look forward to keeping our stakeholders updated on our ongoing progress.”

(Source: GKP)

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced the appointment of Kimberley Wood as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 01 October 2018.

Kimberley Wood is a legal professional with 18 years’ experience and a specialist in the oil and gas sector.  Most recently she was Head of the Oil and Gas for EMEA at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and remains a Senior Consultant for the firm. Throughout her career she has advised a wide range of companies in the sector, from small independents through to super majors.

Ms. Wood was a Partner at Vinson & Elkins RLLP from February 2011 to April 2015, and was previously at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. She was included as an expert in Energy and Natural Resources in the 2018 “Expert Guide” series and Women in Business Law, 2018 and is a member of the Advisory Board to the City of London Geological Forum.

Ms. Wood is currently a Non-Executive Director of Africa Oil Corp., an E&P company listed on the TSX (Canada) and Nasdaq OMX (Stockholm), with assets in Kenya and Ethiopia and a member of the Lundin Group.

Following Ms. Wood’s appointment, the Board will review the composition of the Board Committees.

Jaap Huijskes, Gulf Keystone’s Non-Executive Chairman, said:

“We are pleased to welcome Kimberley to the Board of Gulf Keystone Petroleum. She is a highly respected legal practitioner who has been counselling Boards for the past two decades.  We very much look forward to Kimberly’s contribution, in particular in this exciting phase of investment and of markedly increasing production from Shaikan.”

(Source: GKP)