Kuwait Energy has announces that the Royal Court of Jersey has approved the acquisition of the company by Gold Cheers Corporation Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Energy Group Limited (UEG), by means of a scheme of arrangement.

The consideration to be paid under the transaction will be US$477,248,630.20 which equates to a per share price of US$1.46400797821.

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to delivery of the Act of Court sanctioning the Scheme to the Registrar of Companies in Jersey. This is expected to occur on or before 22 March 2019 (the “Effective Date”), at which time the Scheme will become effective.

Payments to shareholders should be dispatched within 14 days of the Effective Date, as detailed in the scheme document dated 15 November 2018 relating to the Scheme.

In Iraq, Kuwait Energy has interests in the Mansuriya, Siba, and Block 9 fields.

(Source: Kuwait Energy)

Kuwait Energy has announces that the Royal Court of Jersey has approved the acquisition of the company by Gold Cheers Corporation Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Energy Group Limited (UEG), by means of a scheme of arrangement.

The consideration to be paid under the transaction will be US$477,248,630.20 which equates to a per share price of US$1.46400797821.

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to delivery of the Act of Court sanctioning the Scheme to the Registrar of Companies in Jersey. This is expected to occur on or before 22 March 2019 (the “Effective Date”), at which time the Scheme will become effective.

Payments to shareholders should be dispatched within 14 days of the Effective Date, as detailed in the scheme document dated 15 November 2018 relating to the Scheme.

In Iraq, Kuwait Energy has interests in the Mansuriya, Siba, and Block 9 fields.

(Source: Kuwait Energy)

IBBC Spring Conference 2019

Iraq – Financing a Modern Economy 

10 April, The Mansion House, London

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) invites you to attend its Ninth Annual Conference at the Mansion House on the 10th of April. This year’s conference is organised in partnership with the Central Bank of Iraq and the Iraqi Private Banking League.

With a strong focus on the Iraqi banking sector, two sessions of the conference will be devoted to financial sector issues. Other areas will focus on building human capital in the public and private sector and on oil & gas.

Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC states:

“The security situation in Iraq is now much improved, with a new Government in place that has a clear mandate from the people to improve governance and to provide important basic utilities. IBBC is the Iraqi Governments private sector partner of choice for developing the private sector in Iraq. We firmly believe that only private enterprise can meet the challenges facing Iraq by developing a modern economy”.

H.E. Dr Fuad Hussein, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance will lead a high level delegation alongside Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, officials from the Central Bank of Iraq, a delegation from the Iraq Private Banks League and the Governors of Erbil, Sulamania and Karbala. A large delegation of Iraqi Businessmen from all governorates of the country will also be in attendance.

Round-table discussions will take place with Iraqi officials, including the Iraqi Governors, where delegates can engage in concentrated debates on country specific issues. As well as specific round-tables on Tech in Iraq and Women’s Group.

Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers will present a paper on ‘Private Sector Development and Investment in Iraq‘. Delegates will receive an exclusive insight into the Government’s planned measures and strategies to realise this ambition. There will also be special presentations by the Central Bank of Iraq and Basra Gas Company.

Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow at Chatham House and the preeminent voice on Iraq in the UK is publishing a briefing paper specifically for the IBBC conference, discussing the short to medium term economic and political outlook for Iraq.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan & Kazakhstan will open the conference, alongside The Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, H.E. Dr Fuad Hussein, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Jon Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq and Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF).

Conference Sessions & Speakers 

The Banking Sector in Iraq

Chair: Gavin Wishart, Shire Oak International

Panellists: Dr Mazen Sabeh Ahmed, Central Bank of Iraq; Mohammed Delaimy, Standard Chartered Bank; UK Export Finance (UKEF); Ali Tariq Mostaf, Iraq Private Banking League; Richard Wilkins, JP Morgan

Stock Marker & Investment Opportunities

Chair: John Kemkers, Eversheds Sutherland (tbc)

Panellists: Shwan Ibrahim Taham, Iraqi Stock Exchange; Dr Alaa Abdel Hussein Al Saadi, Iraqi Securities Commission; London Stock Exchange (tbc)

Oil & Gas

Chair: Prof. Frank Gunter, Lehigh University

Panellists: Dr Mark Wharton, Shell; Lawrence Coleman BP; Bob Dastmalchi, Chevron

Capacity Building in Iraq

Chair: Ambassador Stuart Jones, Bechtel

Panellists: Dr Renad Mansour, Chatham House; Prof. Mohammed Al-Uzri, University of Leicester; Samer Al Mafraji, AMS Iraq

Dr Mai Yamani will be presenting the closing remarks for this important event.

Join IBBC, its members and the international business and finance community for a full agenda of expert speakers, UK & Iraqi politicians and many networking and business development opportunities.

You can register and purchase tickets via the IBBC website: https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/event/spring-conference-at-the-mansion-house

The conference is being generously supported and sponsored by Shell, Rolls-Royce, Standard Chartered Bank and Eversheds Sutherland.

For more information email london@webuildiraq.org or telephone 020 7222 7100.

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

Shares in Genel Energy were trading down four percent on Wednesday morning after the company announced its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2018, in which it wrote down its Miran asset by $424 million.

Despite this, Genel says it can now initiate “a material and sustainable dividend policy“, with payments starting in 2020.

The company’s shares are up 17 percent since the start of the year.

Murat Özgül, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

Genel’s strategy at the start of 2018 was clear – generate material free cash flow from producing assets, build and invest in a rich funnel of transformational development opportunities, and return capital to shareholders at the appropriate time. We are delivering on this strategy.

“2018 was another year of material free cash flow generation, we continued to transform our balance sheet and the addition of assets with the potential of Sarta and Qara Dagh led to a very successful delivery on the first two parts of our strategy. We will continue to develop opportunities and invest ingrowth. As we do so, a robust cash flow outlook and our confidence in Genel’s future prospects underpins our initiation of a material and sustainable dividend policy.

Results summary ($ million unless stated)

2018 2017
Production (bopd, working interest) 33,700 35,200
Revenue 355.1 228.9
EBITDAX1 304.1 475.5
  Depreciation and amortisation (136.2) (117.4)
  Exploration credit / (expense) 1.5 (1.9)
  Impairment of property, plant and equipment (58.2)
  Impairment of intangible assets (424.0)
Operating (loss) / profit (254.6) 298.0
Cash flow from operating activities 299.2 221.0
Capital expenditure 95.5 94.1
Free cash flow2 164.2 99.1
Cash3 334.3 162.0
Total debt 300.0 300.0
Net cash / (debt)4 37.0 (134.8)
Basic EPS (¢ per share) (101.6) 97.1
Underlying EPS (¢ per share)5 109.0 65.1
  1. EBITDAX is operating profit / (loss) adjusted for the add back of depreciation and amortisation ($136.2 million), exploration credit ($1.5 million) and impairment of intangible assets ($424.0 million)
  2. Free cash flow is net cash generated from operating activities less cash outflow due to purchase of intangible assets ($39.7 million), purchase of property, plant and equipment ($65.3 million) and interest paid ($30.0 million)
  3. Cash reported at 31 December 2018 excludes $10.0 million of restricted cash
  4. Reported cash less ($334.3 million) less reported balance sheet debt ($297.3 million)
  5. EBITDAX less net gain arising from the Receivable Settlement Agreement (‘RSA’) divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares

Highlights

  • $335 million of cash proceeds were received in 2018 (2017: $263 million)
  • Strong cash flow generation, with free cash flow totalling $164 million in 2018 (2017: $99 million), an increase of 66%
  • Financial strength continues to increase,with unrestricted cash balances at 28 February 2019 of $378 million, andnet cash at $81 million
  • Addition of Sarta and Qara Dagh to the portfolio in 2019 brings further near-term production and material growth potential
  • Increase in 1P and 2P reserves as of 31 December 2018 to 99 MMbbls (31 December 2017: 97 MMbbls) and 155 MMbbls (31 December 2017: 150 MMbbls) respectively, including Sarta
  • As disclosed in our trading statement, the carrying value of the Miran licence has been under review. Due to the focus on the development of Bina Bawi, while Genel continues to see significant opportunity in the licence, this has resulted in an accounting impairment to the carrying value

Outlook

  • Production guidance maintained – net production during 2019 is expected to be close to Q4 2018 levels of 36,900 bopd, an increase of c.10% year-on-year
  • Capital expenditure guidance updated to include spend on Sarta and Qara Dagh, with net capital expenditure now forecast to be $150-170 million (from c.$115 million)
  • Opex and G&A guidance unchanged at c.$30 million and c.$20 million respectively
  • Genel expects to generate material free cash flow of over $100 million in 2019, inclusive of investment in Sarta and Qara Dagh
  • Given the strong free cash flow forecast of the business, even after investment in growth opportunities, Genel is initiating a material and sustainable dividend policy
    • The Company intends to pay a minimum dividend of $40 million per annum starting in 2020, with the intention for this to grow
    • The dividend will be split between an interim and final dividend, to be paid one-third/two-thirds
    • The Company is set to approach bondholders to request a temporary waiver of the dividend restriction, which limits dividends to 50% of annual net profit, in relation to accelerating the start of distribution to 2019
  • The Company continues to actively pursue growth and appraise opportunities to make value-accretive additions to the portfolio

More details – 40 pages of them! – here.

(Sources: Genel Energy, Yahoo!)

By John Lee.

The Trump administration has reportedly granted Iraq a further 90-day extension to the waiver exempting it from US sanctions on Iran.

CNBC quotes a senior State Department official as saying on condition of anonymity:

“While this waiver is intended to help Iraq mitigate energy shortages, we continue to discuss our Iran-related sanctions with our partners in Iraq.”

According to some energy analysts, without continued sanctions exemptions, Iraq could lose more than a third of its power overnight.

More here.

(Source: CNBC)

By John Lee.

A report from Bellingcat claims to have identified the source of a mysterious black sludge in Mosul Lake.

Analysis of open source satellite images suggest a combination of oil waste water, caused by either oil dumping or flooding of polluted rivers by the winter rains.

Click here to read the full report.

(Source: Bellingcat)

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi officials stress need to boost Arab ties while balancing relations with Iran

The Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah hosted the sixth-annual Sulaimaniyah Forum on March 6-7, where discussions focused on Iraq’s strategic significance in the region. During the forum, Iraqi officials and their Arab counterparts called for Iraq to re-embrace strong ties with its Arab neighbors and strike a balance in its ties with Iran.

This year’s forum was held under the motto “Iraq and Its Neighbors: Toward a New Regional Order.

Iraqi President Barham Salih (pictured) said on the first day of the forum that Iraq is striving to bring together different viewpoints in the region based on its depth of ties with Arabic and Gulf states, assuring that this will bring major economic developments to the country and help solve the security crisis. Iraq is capable of being an “arena for consensus and reconciliation among the countries of the region,” he noted.

Click here to read the full story.

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

How will US sanctions affect Iran-Iraq economic relations?

The Trump administration is giving Iraq a few more months to continue buying oil and electricity from neighbouring Iran before the United States enforces sanctions against Tehran.

After years of conflict, Baghdad now relies heavily on Iran for goods and services.

And Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is visiting Iraq to solidify ties between the neighbours, trying to convince them to defy the US president.

Al Jazeera‘s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Baghdad:

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)

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)