By John Lee.

Sharjah-based Dana Gas has announces that during Q1 2019, Pearl Petroleum has received $112 million (AED 411mm) from the sale of condensate, LPG and gas in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

Dana Gas is a 35% shareholder in Pearl Petroleum and accordingly, its share of such receipts by Pearl Petroleum is $39 million (AED 143mm).

This presents a 117% increase compared to the Company’s Q1 2018 share of collections which stood at $18 million. As of today, Pearl Petroleum has no overdue receivables in the KRI.

Dr Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO of Dana Gas, said:

“We have had a very positive start to year in the KRI. Our debottlenecking project which we completed in October 2018 has increased our production output by 30% to 400 MMscf/d. We have begun to see the impact of the additional production on our Q1 collection, which has doubled.”

In February of this year, Pearl Petroleum 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/d. The Consortium aims to bring this production on-stream by 2021 as part of their expansion plans to raise output from the current 400 MMscf/day to 650 MMscf/day in 2021, and then to 900 MMscf/day by 2022.

(Source: Dana Gas)

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)

Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum Announce 30% Gas Production Increase in Kurdistan Region

Dana Gas, the Middle East’s leading publicly-listed regional natural gas company, and its partner Crescent Petroleum, have announced achievement of a 30% increase in production capacity at the Khor Mor field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which the companies jointly operate on behalf of Pearl Petroleum.

This increase delivers much-needed gas supply to fuel power plants in the region, and marked a major milestone as the companies commemorate 10 years of continuous production in the region in a special ceremony with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil.

The expansion at the Khor Mor gas processing plant consisted of a series of plant additions and modifications to de-bottleneck throughput, raising output capacity from 305 MMscfd of natural gas to 400 MMscfd, with over 15,000 barrels per day of condensate.

The Plant, which began operating in 2008, supplies natural gas from the Khor Mor field by pipeline to power plants in the towns of Chemchemal and Erbil, and will soon supply a new plant in Bazian. The Khor Mor Plant also produces LPG and NGL, which are sold and trucked to the local markets.

Under a Gas Sales agreement signed in January 2018 with the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources, Pearl Petroleum will sell the additional quantities of gas to supply the power stations with affordable, environmentally favourable fuel, and further enhance electricity supplies.

The plant expansion comes online as Pearl celebrates a decade of production in the KRI. At a ceremony in Erbil attended by Kurdish Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Ashti Hawrami, and other senior officials, Board Members and senior executives from the companies commemorated the partnership between the companies and the KRG in delivering progress and improved services to the people of the region over the past decade.

Total investment in the Kurdistan Gas Project to date exceeds $1.4 billion with total cumulative production over 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), which has resulted in over $20 billion of fuel cost savings and economic benefits for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole. Further investment is underway to expand production to 900mmscfd per over the coming 3 years, together with associated liquids.

Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Board Managing Director of Dana Gas, commented:

This production increase marks an important milestone as we also commemorate ten years of continuous production, and the beginning of a new chapter of expansion in operations and production which will see a further investment of over $600 million over the coming few years and a more than doubling of production again.

“The gas we have produced has led to significant fuel savings and social and economic value for the economy, and we hope to grow this in the years to come from the significant resources of these world class fields, for the benefit of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq.”

Dr. Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO of Dana Gas, added:

“Despite many challenges over the past ten years we are proud to have maintained our production levels and operations and now with the settlement of all past receivables last summer and continuous payments since then, we look forward to significantly growing production to meet the growing demand for gas and electricity in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole.”

In August 2017, Pearl Petroleum reached a full and final settlement with the KRG of the arbitration between them, including receiving $1 billion in cash from the KRG for past receivables and committing to expand their investment and operations in the region.

These expansion plans include a multi-well drilling program now underway in both the Khor Mor & Chemchemal fields, as well as installation of additional gas processing and liquids extraction facilities.

Operation full-time staff numbers are over 600 with over 80% local staff, and training programmes to increase this figure further. In addition, the companies has contributed to local communities with support for local power generation, education and healthcare facilities, as well as support programmes for internally displaced people in Iraqi.

The Kurdistan Gas Project was established in 2007 as Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum entered into agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for 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 15 months later, in October 2008, an industry record. 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.

(Source: Dana Gas)

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)

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Pearl Petroleum have signed an agreement to increase production of gas from the Khor Mor field later this year, to boost much needed electricity generation for the people of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole.

The 10-year gas sales agreement will enable gas production from Khor Mor field to increase by 25% later this year, from 320 million cubic feet per day currently to 400 million cubic feet per day.

Dr Ashti Hawrami, KRG Minister of Natural Resources, said:

“We are pleased to see the further commitment of expansion and investment by the companies and the anticipated growth in gas supplies will make a positive contribution to the growing domestic needs for more electricity.”

As part of a final settlement of arbitration in August 2017, Pearl Consortium, which is led by Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas, committed to expanding their investment and operations in the region.

The companies plan a multi-well drilling program in the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields, as well as installation of new gas processing and liquids extraction facilities. The overall aim is to increase gas production by a further 125% within two years, to 900 million cubic feet per day.

KRG also welcomes Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum’s expansion of their local training and employment programs, as agreed in the arbitration settlement. The companies employ close to 500 full-time local personnel representing over 80% localisation, and have training programmes to increase this figure further.

See also the Dana Gas press release on the Gas sales agreement (external link)

(Source: KRG)

By John Lee.

UAE-based Crescent Petroleum is reportedly planning a significant increase in its production of natural gas at its Pearl Petroleum operations in Iraq.

President Badr Jafar (pictured) is quoted as saying that there will be an investment of $1 billion to boost production to 500 million cubic feet of gas per day by 2020, up from about 330 million cubic feet  and about 20,000 barrels per day of condensates at present.

According to Reuters, Pearl is owned 35 percent by Crescent Petroleum, 35 percent by Crescent’s affiliate Dana Gas, 10 percent by Austria’s OMV, 10 percent by Germany’s RWE, and 10 percent by Hungary’s MOL.

(Sources: Gulf News, Reuters)

By Ahmed Tabaqchali. Originally published by Iraq in Context; re-published by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Between February 2017 and mid-October, Rosneft signed a number of deals with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) that established for it, and by extension for Russia, a major position as both an investor and stakeholder in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI)’s hydrocarbon resources and infrastructure.

The move was interpreted, especially by the KRG, as implicit support for the KRG in its bid for independence, especially in light of the latest deal signed following the reassertion of Iraq’s federal control over Kirkuk and other disputed territories. While there is an element of truth to this thinking, the deals are part of a wider geopolitical positioning for Russia as a major gas supplier to Europe and as an emerging power in the Middle East.

The deals provide Rosneft, and by extension Russia, effective control of the KRG’s Oil & Gas infrastructure, and a controlling stake in the region’s finances in more ways than one.

Within the oil space it has established this in three ways. The first was by providing USD 1.5bn in financing via forward oil sales payable over 3-5 years. This would be payable in kind from the KRG’s exports, until recently at about 550,000-600,000 barrels per day (bbl/d). However, the loss of the Kirkuk fields takes away about 430,000 bbl/d of production or eventually about half of the KRG’s exports.

This leaves the KRG with a tiny revenue stream after payments to International Oil Companies (IOC)’s, from which to make payments on forward oil sales of up USD 3.5 bn including Rosneft’s USD 1.5bn. A complicating factor is the repayment of other KRG debt, estimated at over USD 21bn by end of 2017, which will have to be factored into debt payment sustainability.

By John Lee.

Austria’s OMV has said its third-quarter clean operating result “was positively impacted” by about 90 million euro ($107 million) following a settlement over a dispute relating to the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields in Iraqi Kurdistan.

On August 30, 2017, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Dana Gas , Crescent Petroleum and Pearl Petroleum Company Limited reached a settlement under which the KRG agreed to immediately pay $1 billion to the consortium to settle the long-running legal dispute.

Of the EUR 90 million, OMV received approximately 60 percent as dividend from Pearl while around 40 percent was put into a dedicated accountfor future investments in Khor Mor.

(Source: OMV)

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will immediately pay $1 billion to the Pearl Consortium, including Dana Gas, and its partners to settle a long-running legal dispute.

In a joint press release, the Kurdistan Regional Government and Pearl Consortium announced the “full and final settlement” between the two parties.

Below is the full press release:

Settlement Agreement between Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (the “KRG”) and (i) Dana Gas PJSC; (ii) Crescent Petroleum Company International Limited; and (iii) Pearl Petroleum Company Limited (“Pearl”); together (the “Consortium”)

The KRG and the Consortium, together (the “Parties”), signed a Heads of Agreement onc and Chemchemal fields on 4 April 2007 (the “HoA”). Subsequently a dispute arose between them concerning certain matters under the HoA, and they referred this disputeon 21 October 2013 to an arbitration under LCIA case reference number 132527 (the “Arbitration”) for decision by an arbitral tribunal (the “Tribunal”) in London.

The Parties have mutually agreed to fully and finally settle all their differences amicably by terminating the Arbitration and related court proceedings, and releasing all remaining claims between them, including the substantial damages asserted by the Consortium against the KRG; implementing a mechanism for settlement of $2,239 million awarded by the Tribunal to date ; and proceeding with immediate further development of the HoA’s world class resources for mutual benefit as well as the benefit of the people of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq.

The agreed settlement highlights are as follows:

  • The KRG will immediately pay Pearl a sum of US$600 million.
  • The KRG will also immediately pay Pearl a further US$400 million to be dedicated for investment exclusively for the aforesaid further development to substantially increase production.
  • Pearl will increase gas production at Khor Mor by 500 MMscf/day, a 160% increase on the current level of production (the “Additional Gas”). The Additional Gas, together with significant additional amounts of condensate, is expected to begin production in approximately two years.
  • The balance of sums awarded by the Tribunal ($1,239 million) is no longer a debt owed by the KRG and will be reclassified as outstanding cost recoverable by Pearl from future revenues generated from the HoA areas.
  • The profit share allocated to Pearl from future revenues generated from the HoA areas are adjusted upwards to a level similar to the overall profit levels normally offered to IOCs under the KRG’s Production Sharing Contracts. This adjustment reflects the larger investment risks and costs involved in the development of natural gas resources compared to oil developments. After the recovery of costs and a return on investment by the Consortium, 78% of revenues generated from the HoA areas will be for the account of the KRG, and 22% for the account of Pearl.
  • The Parties have clarified the Khor Mor block boundary coordinates and the KRG has awarded the Consortium investment opportunities in the adjacent blocks 19 and 20, and added these to the HoA areas, with commitments by the Consortium to make appraisal investments on these blocks, and developments if commercial oil and gas resources are found.
  • The KRG will purchase 50% of the Additional Gas on agreed terms to boost the gas supply to power generation plants in the Kurdistan Region. The other 50% of the Additional Gas (250 mmscf/d) will be marketed and sold by Pearl to customers within Iraq or by export, or can be sold to the KRG as well to further boost power generation within Iraq.
  • Pearl will also expand its local training and employment programs towards achieving maximum localization and content, as well as supporting local communities through its active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
  • The Parties have exchanged mutual releases, waivers, and discharges in relation to all claims in relation to the Arbitration and related court proceedings.
  • The Parties have also amended and clarified the HoA language and terms, including extension of the term of the contract until 2049.

The Parties are very pleased with their settlement and and look forward to working together to maximise the full potential of the HoA areas, for their mutual benefit as well as that of the people of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq.

Under the settlement, the people of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq will enjoy additional revenues and improved electricity supply. The Parties believe that this settlement agreement confirms to international investors that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq offers an attractive and secure environment for investment.

H.E. Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Natural Resources of the KRG, said:

“The companies’ investment and production to date has already delivered substantial benefits for the Kurdistan Region through enabling cost-effective power generation. We are delighted by the outcome of this settlement which opens a new chapter in the relationship between the parties and will take the development of the important natural gas sector to new heights.”

Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Managing Director of the Board of Dana Gas PJSC, added:

“We have always expressed our commitment to amicable resolution of matters to enable proper development of the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields. We are pleased with this definitive agreement which follows constructive dialogue with the KRG and promises to generate significant value for all concerned. The settlement of all debts and restoration of full cooperation gives a positive outlook for further investment and full realization of the enormous resource potential of the HoA areas.”

(Sources: KRG, Dana Gas)

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) issued a statement regarding the partial ruling on the allocation of costs from the tribunal in the ongoing arbitration between the KRG and Dana Gas PJSC, Crescent Petroleum Company International Limited and Pearl Petroleum Company Limited (collectively “the Claimants”):

The arbitration is subject to duties of confidentiality under the applicable law and arbitration rules. Without waiving these duties of confidentiality, the KRG is obliged to correct certain public statements by Dana Gas, which quote selectively from the ruling and create an impression that is materially misleading and incomplete. In particular, the Claimants’ public statement fails to mention that:

  1. The tribunal’s ruling is only a partial ruling on some costs issues in the arbitration and is not a final determination on all costs issues (or all the other remaining issues) in the arbitration.
  2. The tribunal reduced the legal costs the Claimants had claimed by millions of dollars to reflect the “success of the KRG” in defeating the Claimants’ claim for payments for excess gas, which the Claimants had valued at over US$1.3 billion.  The tribunal held that these claims, on which the KRG succeeded in full, were “in economic terms of considerable importance.”  The Tribunal also held that the discount on their costs offered by the Claimants was “inadequate to reflect the success of the KRG on the excess gas issue.”
  3. The tribunal disallowed further significant legal costs the Claimants had claimed.  The tribunal held that the Claimants had failed to discharge their burden of showing that these costs were properly recoverable.
  4. The tribunal rejected the Claimants’ position that they should be entitled to recover 100% of the fees and costs of the LCIA and the tribunal and, again, reduced the amount awarded to the Claimants to reflect the relative success of the KRG.

The KRG regrets that, once again, the Claimants have sought to make media statements that are selective, misleading and designed to harm the KRG.  The KRG hopes that, going forward, rather than disseminating misleading information in the media for their own purposes, the Claimants will focus their energies on working together with the Government and People of the Kurdistan Region in the best interests of all concerned.

(Source: KRG)