As part of the XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Rosneft and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq signed an agreement securing the intention of the Parties to make a detailed analysis of potential gas cooperation options.

The Parties ensure stepwise implementation of the arrangements following the Investment Agreement signed at the XXI St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Rosneft will focus its analysis on how to participate in the integrated gas business value chain in the region in order to extract maximum efficiency from investments and operations in such areas as exploration and production, transportation and trading with especial attention given to partnership and project (third party) financing options.

Under the Agreement the Parties will elaborate an integral plan to progress the gas business within the Kurdish Region of Iraq. One step in this plan is the conduct of a pre-FEED of Iraqi Kurdistan’s gas pipeline construction and operation.

This is a key project to the monetization of the exploration and production opportunities Rosneft has been evaluating since signing a Gas Cooperation Agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq at the 10th Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona on 19 October 2017.

Following the outcomes of the integral development plan in terms of the attractiveness and efficiency of the options, Rosneft will decide on how to participate in the regional gas business.

(Source: Rosneft)

By John Lee.

China’s ZhenHua Oil [Jinhua] has signed a service contract to develop the southern part of the East Baghdad oil field.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] said that the signature of the contract was significance for Baghdad because it is the first project in the capital.

The development of the field will raise the production of the Midland Oil Company.

As part of the deal, the project will also provide social services, and see the construction of a housing complex with 2000 residential units.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Bashneft, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosneft, has found oil at its Salman-1 exploratory well at Block 12 in Iraq.

In a statement, the company said that an exploration well was successfully drilled to depth 4,277 metres; oil was found, “which gives grounds for expecting the discovery of industrial reserves“.

Rosneft said it views this discovery as an important milestone in the development of exploration and production projects abroad.

China-based company Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group (ZPEC) was previously announced as the general drilling contractor.

(Source: Rosneft)

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has brought further charges against two individuals facing trial in relation to the Unaoil investigation.

Basil Al Jarah and Ziad Akle have both been charged with conspiracy to give corrupt payments to secure the award of a contract worth US$733 million to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.

  • Basil Al Jarah was charged on 15 May 2018 with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
  • Ziad Akle was charged on 16 May 2018 with one offence of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Basil Al Jarah and Ziad Akle will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 23 May 2018.

The SFO would like to thank the Australian Federal Police for the assistance it provided in connection with our investigation.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Source: SFO)

By John Lee.

Sharjah-based Ducorr has reportedly completed the design and deployment of a cathodic protection system for Shell’s Majnoon oil field.

Construction Week Online quotes company sources as saying that the flowlines were buried in very corrosive soil, hence the need for protection.

(Source: Construction Week Online)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Heavy Engineering Equipment State Company (HEESCO) has signed deals with three international companies in the oil, petrochemical and the marine industries:

  • UK-based Weir Engineering Services;
  • Czech-based KPS;
  • Egyptian-based Petrojet.

The company, established in 1963, has technological capabilities in the design, manufacturing and installation of the engineering equipment, such as the tanks, boilers, heat exchangers, pressure tanks, refining towers, bridge pillars, river boats and engineering inspection.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) said that the Ministry aims to increase cooperation with international companies.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Kuwait Energy has reportedly hired an investment bank to advise it on options that could include selling all or part of its Block 9 field in southern Iraq.

Reuters says that Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) will assist in creating liquidity and a cash buffer to repay debt.

Discussions on a possible merger with UK-listed SOCO International broke down earlier this year.

(Source: Reuters)

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has completed the private placement of USD 400 million of new, five-year senior unsecured bonds to be issued at 100 percent of par with a coupon rate of 8.75 percent. The bond placement received strong investor demand across international markets and was oversubscribed.

The bond issue is expected to be settled on or about 31 May 2018, subject to customary conditions precedent. An application will be made for the bonds to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

In connection with the bond placement, the Company has agreed to roll over USD 200 million in nominal value of DNO01 bonds (ISIN: NO0010740392) at 103.25 percent of par plus accrued interest into the new bond. The rolled over bonds will be canceled and USD 200 million of outstanding DNO01 bonds will remain.

Net proceeds from the new bonds will be used towards refinancing the outstanding DNO01 bonds and for general corporate purposes.

Pareto Securities AS acted as lead manager and bookrunner with Danske Bank and SpareBank 1 Markets AS as co-managers and bookrunners.

(Source: DNO)

By John Lee.

Medserv, the Malta-based oil and gas logistics support and services group, has said that its Iraqi business remained weak through Q1 2018.

But in its Interim Report, the company said the forward order position in Iraq is much healthier for the second quarter of 2018 and those levels are expected to be maintained.

It added:

“The medium-term forecast on Iraq remains positive with the number of land rigs mobilized to oil fields showing a healthy increase over 2017. This flows through as more demand for the METS Iraq’s services.”

(Source: Medserv)