The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Erbil Governorate have launched eight infrastructure projects to improve services that are fundamental to daily life, such as electricity, water, roads, and sewerage, for over 284,000 people across the Governorate of Erbil.

With the continuous support from the Government of Germany, UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) and the Erbil Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (E-JCC) will construct or upgrade six critical infrastructure projects, namely constructing roads, improving lighting, repairing the water network, and upgrading the electricity grid. This initiative directly supports residents of Sarbasty, Farmanbaran, Baharka, Naly, Shamamik, and Krechyan quarters of Erbil Governorate.

With continuous funding from the Government of Japan, ICRRP and the E-JCC are supporting two projects benefiting over 210,000 host community members and displaced people. The supply and installation of 40 transformers, already completed, has improved access to reliable electricity for people living in the targeted quarters of Erbil city and the districts of Soran, Koyia, Shaqlawa and Salah Al Din sub-district.

In addition, the supply and installation of a mobile substation for Ifraz Water Treatment Plant, which is the main water source in Erbil Governorate, is expected to increase the supply of water in Darashakran and Kawergosk sub-districts, as well as in Kawergosk refugee camp, Darashakran refugee camp and in the nearby villages.

At a ceremony marking the launch of the projects, the Governor of Erbil, H.E Mr. Nawzad Hadi, said:

“We highly appreciate the support from the Governments of Germany and Japan, and collaboration with UNDP, to improve the delivery of basic services and boost livelihood opportunities for displaced populations in Erbil. Today we are signing the agreements with UNDP to launch infrastructure projects with a total budget of up to US $3 million. These contributions are essential for coping with the current crisis and ongoing recession and will meet current community needs.”

The Consul and Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Erbil, Mr. Katsumi Moriyasu, said:

“Japan is very active in extending humanitarian and stabilization assistance to IDPs, refugees and host communities in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Its contributions in those areas so far reached US$460 million since 2012. As well, Japan is determined to stay as a close partner of Iraq and Kurdistan Region with respect to their reconstruction and socio-economic development.”

The Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Johannes Schneider, noted:

“Thanks to UNDP and the ICRRP the enormous challenges in the response to the Iraqi Crisis are being addressed in a timely and effective manner. The programme ensures that anybody in need, independent from his or her ethnic or religious background can benefit from the support. Germany is happy to have contributed to this program with a total amount of €59.5 million so far.”

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Marta Ruedas, notes that:

“Supporting Iraq’s livelihoods and basic service delivery bolsters Iraq’s path to recovery from the recent conflict. UNDP is committed to working closely with the Erbil Governorate on these critical infrastructure projects that support both displaced populations and host communities”.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) promotes the recovery and resilience of communities vulnerable to multi-dimensional shocks associated with large-scale returns and protracted displacement of Iraqis and Syrian refugees.

This is achieved through a medium-term programming integrating crisis management capacity building, rehabilitating basic service infrastructure, livelihood recovery and social cohesion.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

Dana Gas has said it has received $43.8 million in dividends from Pearl Petroleum Company Limited for condensate and LPG sales in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in the first half of 2018, including a $7 million payment for the month of June.

The company added that the capacity to process gas and condensate from the Khor Mor field (pictured) will increase by 580 MMscf/d and 20 mbbld, respectively, with the expansion programme is on track to deliver an increase in output of 80 MMscf/d by Q3 2018.

(Sources: Rudaw, Mubasher)

Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd., operator of the Shaikan Field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, has announced the successful completion of the private placement of a 5-year senior unsecured $100 million bond issue (the “New Notes”).

The New Notes will be issued at 100 percent of par and carry a 10 percent fixed semi-annual coupon. The bond placement received strong investor demand, both from existing and new investors across international markets and was oversubscribed.

The New Notes issue is expected to settle on or about 25 July 2018, subject to customary conditions precedent. An application will be made for the New Notes to be listed on an appropriate recognised exchange. The proceeds from the New Notes will be used to refinance all of Gulf Keystone’s existing $100 million Guaranteed Notes due 2021 (the “Existing Notes”).

With respect to the Existing Notes that have not tendered for exchange, the Company intends to exercise the option to redeem all of the Existing Notes then outstanding at par value according to the call option, expected to take place on 26 July 2018.

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

Following our recent announcement of the resumption of investments at the Shaikan Field to increase production to 55,000 bopd, an increase by about 70% compared to current levels, this refinancing resets the Company’s capital structure that was put in place in conjunction with the restructuring in 2016. This is another positive milestone for the company and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“We also look forward to updating the market on our plans to increase production to 75,000 bopd and up to 110,000 bopd in due course.

Sami Zouari, Gulf Keystone’s Chief Financial Officer, said:

“The refinancing confirms the substantial progress achieved by the Company. The New Notes considerably strengthen the Company’s financial capabilities as we embark on our next investment phases in the Shaikan field.”

(Source: GKP)

By John Lee.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has said that Iraq is still in talks with Turkey and Kurdish regional authorities to resume exports of Kirkuk crude oil through the Turkish port of Ceyhan (pictured).

He said that production from Kirkuk is currently 220,000 bpd, which is entirely used by local refineries.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will reportedly soon unify customs duties to streamline the system and prevent the double taxation of the Kurdistan Region’s businessmen.

According to Rudaw, Erbil and Baghdad have two different customs fees, causing disputes between the two aresa.

They previously reached a preliminary agreement on unifying the customs fee, but could not agree on who would receive the revenues.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph Votel, US Consul-General in the Kurdistan Region Ken Gross and their accompanying delegation.

They discussed security and political developments in Iraq and the wider region, highlighted steps towards the formation of the new Iraqi government and the role of the Kurdistan Region in this process.

They stressed the importance of military coordination among coalition, Iraqi and Peshmerga forces, especially in hunting remnants of ISIS and eliminating their recent movements in the region. Coordination between coalition and Peshmerga forces was highly valued and the United States emphasized they will continue military support.

They also discussed the latest developments in Syria, stressing that the political settlement that would guarantee the rights of all communities, is the only solution.

Chief of Staff to the Kurdistan Region Presidency Dr. Fuad Hussein, Minister of Interior and KRG acting Minister of Peshmerga affairs  Karim Sinjari, and military commanders Sheikh Jaafar and Najat Ali also attended the meeting.

(Source: KRG)

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), operator of the Shaikan Field in Iraqi Kurdistan, were trading up 10 percent on Friday after the company issued an operational and corporate update.

Highlights

  • Agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (“KRG”) Ministry of Natural Resources (“MNR”) and MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc (“MOL”) has been reached in relation to the investment plans to increase gross production capacity to 55,000 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) in the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Gulf Keystone has initiated contracting and procurement activities to implement the 2018 approved capital expenditure of approximately $91 million gross ($73 million net to GKP), which includes workovers in existing wells (electric submersible pumps (“ESPs”) and tubing replacements), drilling of a new well, facilities improvement and plant debottlenecking.
  • The remainder of the required capital expenditure which is currently estimated to be between $175 million to $215 million gross (as previously set out in the 2017 Full Year Results) to achieve 55,000 bopd gross production capacity is expected to be part of the 2019 investment plan (which will also include activities related to the further development of the field).
  • The Company continues to work on the revised Field Development Plan, which is expected to be submitted to the MNR in Q3 2018. The Company will provide an update on the details of the investment plans for the 75,000 bopd and up to 110,000 bopd phases when finalised.
  • Safety performance remains strong with over 3 million man hours without a lost-time incident achieved since 2015.
  • Plant uptime between 1 January 2018 and 31 May 2018 has been outstanding at over 99%, leading to an average gross production of 32,138 bopd for the period, just above the upper end of our 27,000-32,000 bopd guidance for 2018. Full-year guidance for 2018 remains unchanged.
  • A major milestone has been achieved with cumulative production from the Shaikan Field reaching 50 million barrels. As a result, in line with the terms of the Shaikan Production Sharing Contract (“Shaikan PSC”) and our previous disclosure, a production bonus in the amount of $20 million ($16 million net to GKP) is now payable to the KRG.
  • Hook-up of the 400m spur pipeline from Production Facility 2 to the Atrush export line is in its final stage and expected to be operational shortly. This will eliminate trucking requirements for a significant share of Shaikan production which will reduce HSE exposure and is expected to improve netbacks to the Company. Pipeline tie-in of Production Facility 1 will be part of the 2019 investment plan.
  • Payments from the KRG have been received on a regular basis throughout the year. The Company has received gross payments of $136.7 million ($107.3 million net to GKP) year to date.
  • The Company had cash amounting to $222 million as at 21 June 2018.
  • The Company continues its dialogue with the MNR and MOL in order to achieve further contractual and commercial clarity in relation to amendments of the Shaikan PSC which it anticipates being concluded in Q3 2018.

Commenting, Jón Ferrier, CEO, said:

“We are very pleased with the progress we have made in recent months on key commercial and operational matters and are delighted that Gulf Keystone is now back to investment mode, with the objective of achieving 55,000 bopd production capacity in the next 12 to 18 months; an important step towards the development of the full potential of the Shaikan field.”

(Source: GKP)

Oryx Petroleum Announces Successful Appraisal Well at the Banan field

Oryx Petroleum has announced an update on the drilling of an appraisal well targeting the Tertiary reservoir at the Banan field in the Hawler license area in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

As at December 31, 2017, 26 million barrels (“bbl”) of unrisked gross (100%) best estimate (2C) contingent oil resources sub-classified as development unclarified (risked: 13 million bbl) were attributed to the Banan Tertiary reservoir by Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc. based on data obtained during the drilling of the Banan-2 well in 2014.

In late May and early June 2018, the Banan-3 well was drilled to a depth of approximately 500 metres and completed in open hole partially penetrating the Tertiary reservoir. Oil production from the well has been enabled by the use of a jet pump and has averaged approximately 1,500 bbl/d with 50 scf/stb of gas and no water over the last six days of uninterrupted production.

The stock tank oil has a gravity of 26 degrees API. The Corporation intends to continue the extended production test of the well with the objective of assessing the well’s performance, identifying options for increasing production and obtaining information to refine plans for additional appraisal of the Banan Tertiary reservoir.

Crude oil produced at the Banan field is currently hauled to the Hawler tanker terminal where it is offloaded and then pumped to the Demir Dagh storage system. It is blended with crude oil produced from other Hawler license area wells before being exported through the Kurdistan Region-Turkey Export Pipeline.

Based on results from the Banan-3 well, the Corporation expects that, in its reserves report for year-end December 31, 2018, oil reserves will be attributed to the Banan Tertiary reservoir.

The drilling of the Zey Gawra-3 well targeting the Cretaceous reservoir at the Zey Gawra field in the Hawler license area is in progress with results expected in the coming weeks. The Zey Gawra-3 well is the first well to be drilled in the Hawler license area utilising a horizontal well design.

The drilling or re-entry of wells targeting the Banan Cretaceous, Banan Tertiary and Demir Dagh Cretaceous reservoirs are planned, subject to performance of existing wells, in the second half of 2018.

Commenting today, Oryx Petroleum’s Chief Executive Officer, Vance Querio (pictured), stated:

“We are very pleased to have resumed operations at the Banan field with a successful appraisal well targeting the Tertiary reservoir. The average production rate achieved thus far is consistent with expectations and export of the oil is proceeding smoothly.

“Total average daily crude oil production from the Hawler license area is now approximately 5,300 barrels per day. The drilling of the Zey Gawra-3 well targeting the Cretaceous reservoir is in progress with results expected in the coming weeks. The drilling or re-entry of four more wells is planned for the second half of 2018 subject to the performance of existing wells.”

(Source: Oryx Petroleum)

By John Lee.

Fly Erbil, Iraq’s only Kurdish airline, successfully completed its first scheduled flight on Monday.

The plane set off from Erbil International Airport en route to Stockholm in Sweden.

The airline’s administrative director Ahmad Jamal told AFP that Fly Erbil currently has three planes and plans to increase to 10 in the future.

Other destination served include Gothenburg (Sweden), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Birmingham (UK), Kiev (Ukraine) and Nuremberg (Germany).

(Sources: AFP, Fly Erbil)