Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) has announced that its subsidiary, TAQA Atrush B.V. (TAQA Iraq), has set a new production record from the Atrush oil field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

For the first time since the field commenced production operations in July 2017, the total monthly production volume exceeded 1 million barrels of oil in July 2019.

The 1 million barrel mark is a key milestone in TAQA Iraq’s ongoing production improvement and expansion plans for the Atrush block and is a testimony to the effort, professionalism, and commitment to deliver safe and efficient operations in Iraq.

The current rate of gross production at the Atrush block is approximately 34,000 barrels of oil per day, which is line with the company’s targets for Q2 2019. The increase in production was largely due to new wells coming on stream and the impact of de-bottlenecking work over the past few months, which has increased the capacity of volumes handled by the production facility.

The facility has continued to meet targets at minimal spend and is a result of a focus on integrated planning and optimization.

Speaking on the milestone, TAQA Chief Executive Officer Saeed Al Dhaheri said:

This significant achievement is a direct result of our Iraq team’s technical expertise and strategic planning efforts. As a global energy player with operations spanning four continents, our operations in Iraq have allowed us to strengthen our expertise as a leading developer of greenfield projects.

“We look forward to building on this achievement to continue to deliver energy to our strategic partners in the Kurdistan region, and to continue to forge strong relationships with local communities around the Atrush block.”

AbdulKhaliq Al Ameri, Managing Director of TAQA Iraq, added:

“Our focus for the past two years has been to improve the value of our asset while ensuring cost-optimization and uphold our commitment to health and safety. I am particularly proud of our team, which comprises more than 300 people, many of whom are from the Kurdistan region. This achievement is a result of their hard work and dedication to TAQA’s vision.”

The Atrush field is located 85 km northwest of Erbil and is one of the largest new oil developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The field was first discovered in 2011 and production started in 2017. In its two years of production, the Atrush field has produced of 17 million barrels of oil, with increasing efficiency.

In May 2019, TAQA Iraq completed the acquisition of an additional 7.5% working interest in the Atrush block from Marathon Oil KDV B.V. With this acquisition, TAQA Iraq’s working interest in the Atrush block increased from 39.9% to 47.4% and represents an AED 116 million addition to the company’s assets.

TAQA Iraq is the operator of the Atrush block and has a 47.4% working interest under the Atrush block Production Sharing Contract. TAQA Iraq’s partners in the project are the Kurdistan Regional Government (25%) and General Explorations Partners, Inc. (27.6%).

(Source: TAQA)

By John Lee.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) has announced that the group’s oil and gas business delivered strong performance with an 11% increase in revenue, mainly driven by increased production volumes from its assets in Europe and Iraq.

In its financial results and operational highlights for the six-month period ending June 30, 2019, it said its overall capex also rose to AED 957 million in the first six months of 2019, a 15% increase when compared to the same period in 2018.

The increase in Oil and Gas capex was largely driven by the AED 116 million acquisition of an additional 7.5% working stake in the Atrush Block from Marathon Oil Kurdistan B.V. in May of this year. The acquired stake increases TAQA’s working interest in the project from 39.9% to 47.4%.

“Additional capex in Iraq was focussed towards bringing new wells on stream and the impact of debottlenecking work to increase the capacity of the current production facility. This has proven to be a worthwhile investment, with TAQA’s entitlement production increasing to 5,728 boe/d in H1 2019, a 149% improvement compared to the previous year.”

It added that this has proven to be a worthwhile investment, with TAQA’s entitlement production increasing to 5,728 boe/d in H1 2019, a 149% improvement compared to the previous year.

The average production by the oil and gas business for the first half of the year increased 3% to 124,760 boe/d, aided by strong well performance in Europe and Iraq.

Commenting on the positive performance, Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of TAQA, said:

Our solid performance in H1 2019 is underpinned by our strong operational performance.  The Group’s balance sheet remains healthy, and with stable revenues and a further reduction in debt coupled with strong liquidity we remain on course to meet our long term objectives. The recent ratings affirmation from Moody’s is a testament to the stability of our operational performance.

“We also made exciting progress in advancing our strategy of maintaining capital discipline with focused investments in our core assets, such as the Atrush Block. Looking ahead, we remain optimistic and believe that our investments in the UAE and other strategic markets will contribute to a sustained growth story.

(Source: TAQA)

Health, sport, nature: Key sites in Mosul reopen after damage by ISIL

Al Rabee Primary Healthcare Center, the Al Muthana Sport and Youth Center and the East Mosul Nursery Plantation were officially reopened today by the Government of Ninewa, following their rehabilitation by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“While a lot of work remains to be done in Mosul, the opening of these three projects shows the strength and resilience of the city – one that’s well on its way to recovery after experiencing immense hardship under ISIL’s control,” says UNDP’s Resident Representative in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

“Al Rabee is one of 24 healthcare centers and hospitals rehabilitated by UNDP in Mosul and provides critical healthcare services to communities across the city,” she says.

“The Al Muthana Sport and Youth Center is an opportunity to reengage our youth. Sport and organized youth actives go a long way in keeping young people feeling healthy, recognized and valued, so this facility is extremely important.

“And plants produced by the Nursery will not only beautify the city, but they also hold great symbolism – representing new life and restored hope for the people of Mosul.”

Rehabilitation of Al Rabee Primary Healthcare Center was funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and furniture for the Center was provided by a financial contribution from Poland. Rehabilitation of both the Sport Center and Nursery Plantation was supported by The Netherlands.

“The completion of these sites wouldn’t have been possible without the generous contribution of our donors. We’re extremely grateful to the UAE, Poland and The Netherlands for their continued support to stabilizing Iraq,” adds Ms Ali Ahmad.

Approximately 827 stabilization projects have been completed or are underway by UNDP in Mosul, including restoring water and electricity networks, rebuilding educational institutions and healthcare facilities, providing employment for locals to clear rubble from streets, and rehabilitating 15,000 houses.

About the projects

Al Muthana Sport and Youth Center is a public sporting facility and a hub for organized youth activities. At 6700m2, it includes multi-purpose courts for basketball, volleyball, tennis and handball. Under ISIL’s occupation it was used as the militant group’s primary training base.

East Mosul Nursery Plantation is the main source of plant supply to government departments. The area covers 56,000m2 and consists of greenhouses, net shades, open spaces and admin buildings. Prior to ISIL’s occupation, the nursey would produce 250,000-300,000 plants per year.

Al Rabee Primary Healthcare Center is one of the largest in West Mosul. Before ISIL’s occupation, the Center served some 500 patients per day in a catchment area of about 39,000 people. Today it receives about 100 patients per day, however this number is expected to increase as more people return home.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) is reported to be planning to expand its operations in China and the Gulf.

Chairman Faisal al-Haimus [al-Haimus] told Reuters that the bank want to increase revenues from retail banking and international operations from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2022.

He added that it plans to open a representative office in China in 2020, and will upgrade its license in Abu Dhabi from a “representative office” to “asset management company“.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

A senior oil executive has predicted that Iraq could surpass Saudi Arabia as an oil producer.

Addressing delegates at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum conference in London, Majid Jafar (pictured), CEO of Sharjah-based Crescent Petroleum, said:

“Iraq is hugely underexplored. We at Crescent know of 300 structures just in the Western Desert that have yet to be drilled, so I for one believe that Iraq has a lot of potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the largest producer in OPEC during my career.”

Crescent Petroleum has an interest in the Khor Mor field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and has signed initial contracts to develop the oil fields of Gilabat-Qumar (in Diyala), Khashim Ahmer-Injana (in Diyala), and Khudher Al-Mai [Khider al-Mai] (in Basra and Muthana).

By John Lee.

Oil production in the Al Faihaa area (Block 9) in Basra is reportedly expected to increase in the coming year with increasing investment.

Dragon Oil CEO Ali Al Jarwan told Oil & Gas Middle East that the company plans to increase production in Iraq to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2025.

(Source: Oil & Gas Middle East)

By John Lee.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has welcomed four new members, bringing its membership to 71 companies:

Crescent Petroleum: Sharjah-based Crescent Petroleum is the only foreign oil and gas company to maintain a continuous presence in Iraq for three decades, and is the largest private oil and gas investor in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Sardar Trading Agencies (STA): One of the core companies of Sardar Group, with more than 50 years of experience in the Iraqi private business field, mainly in the automotive segment.

Stirling Education: The Luxembourg-based company is committed to providing excellent affordable education and pastoral care for students in Iraq. Across Iraq, they have around 17,000 students, 42 schools and two university campuses.

Tube Tech International: UK-based Tube Tech is a world leader in the removal of fouling from refinery, petrochemical and energy process assets.

(Source: IBBC)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

For much of Iraq’s recent history, the trend has been for educated and talented Iraqis to leave the country, and for Iraq to use its oil revenues to import the expertise it needs.

But that’s changing; to at least some extent, the Iraqi diaspora is returning, innovative home-grown Iraqi businesses are being created, and some are even exporting their goods and services abroad.

One prime example is Arab Payment Services (APS), which I visited on a recent trip to Baghdad. Founded by Ziad Khalaf in 2013, the company now employs 100 people, many of them Iraqis who have returned from overseas with new skills and experience.

The company provides a range of banking-related services, including ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) devices, and payment processing. In this business, proper security is essential. General Manager Haider Alobaidi, who has been with the company from the start, explained:

“Our processes all comply with international standards, such as PCI DSS [Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard] — our reputation depends on flawless execution, so there is no room for error.”

In a country so reliant on cash, is there really a need for such a business? “Most definitely“, says Roger Abhoud, Advisor to the Chairman:

“The demographics are all in our favour. Forty million people, 83 percent of them without bank accounts, increasing by one million people each year — more and more of those people want access to the sorts of services that we can provide, and that trend can only continue. It’s a huge opportunity!”

His vision doesn’t end there. APS has just opened an office in Dubai, and plans to expand internationally.

This is a new and positive phenomenon for Iraq, and one that will provide welcome opportunities in the years ahead.

By John Lee.

Pearl Petroleum is reportedly planning to raise additional funding for its drilling and development in Iraqi Kurdistan,

According to Reuters, Patrick Allman-Ward, the chief executive of Dana Gas, which is the majority owner of Pearl Petroleum, told reporters that the funding will “comprise a mix of bank debt, a bond, Exim bank financing as well as contractor and vendor financing.

The company is developing that Khor Mor and Chemchemal gas fields in Iraqi Kurdistan.

(Source: Reuters)

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has said it will supply the equipment to enable an efficient, reliable, and independent power source for an Iraqi cement producing plant.

The 20 MW engine power plant is being built by Al Shumookh Lucky Investments Ltd, a JV company of Lucky Cement Limited and a limited liability company registered in the United Arab Emirates. The power plant will serve the Najmat Al-Samawa cement factory in Iraq. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in Q1, 2019.

Wärtsilä has a long-established relationship with Lucky Cement Limited, one of Pakistan’s leading cement producers and exporters. The company has earlier built two power plants for Pakistan and one power plant for Iraq based on Wärtsilä Smart Power Generation technology.

Intisar Haqqi of Lucky Cement commented:

“It is important that large cement producers operate with maximum efficiency to reduce their operating costs. For this a reliable and price predictable supply of electricity, independent from the grid, is essential. We have always had excellent support from Wärtsilä, and their power generating technology provides the certainty of supply that is needed.”

Pierpaolo Mazza, Regional Director, Wärtsilä Energy Business, added:

“There is no greater endorsement of customer satisfaction than repeat orders. This is the seventh order received from Lucky Cement Limited, which indicates the success of Wärtsilä’s engine power plants in meeting our customers’ expectations, regardless of extreme climatic conditions.”

The power plant will operate on two Wärtsilä 32 engines running on locally available heavy fuel oil (HFO) with diesel as a back-up fuel. The engine is designed to deliver outstanding efficiency with reduced fuel and water consumption in hot temperatures.

The equipment is scheduled for delivery towards the end of 2019, and the plant is expected to become fully operational during the third quarter of 2020.

Image caption: From left to right: Arif Akram, Wärtsilä Energy Business; Muhammad Qasim Latif, Wärtsilä Energy Business; Pierpaolo Mazza, Wärtsilä Energy Business; Adnan Ahmed and Najam ul Hassan, Al Shumookh Lucky Investments Ltd

(Source: Wärtsilä)