Tag Archive | "Kurdistan"

The latest news from Kurdistan – security updates, reconstruction and more – brought to you by Iraq Business News

Luxemburg Pledges Support to Kurdistan


On Saturday, the Head of KRG Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, received Mr. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxemburg and his accompanying delegation to discuss strengthening of bilateral relations as well as developments in the region.

Minister Mustafa welcomed Minister Asselborn in his first visit to Kurdistan and expressed the desire of the Kurdistan Regional Government to build strong ties between the Kurdistan Region and Luxemburg.

Minister Mustafa briefed the visiting minister on the military, humanitarian, economic and political challenges facing the Kurdistan Region and called for further humanitarian support from the government of Luxemburg and the international community during this challenging time.

Minister Asselborn thanked Minister Mustafa for his warm welcome and commended the KRG on its economic, political and security achievements.

He added, “We are in favor of providing Military assistance to the Peshmerga forces. We have clearly stated our support for the decision of Germany and other EU countries to provide military assistance to the Kurdistan Region.”

Minister Asselborn highly spoke of the role of the Peshmarga forces in the fight against ISIS and of the KRG in accommodating over 1.5 million refugees and displaced people and pledged that Luxemburg will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those vulnerable people who have taken refuge in the region.

Both ministers also discussed potential areas of cooperation and expressed their commitment to work together in order to further develop bilateral relations for the benefit of both sides.

Mr. Karwan Jamal, Deputy Head of DFR, Mr. Jean Olinger, Director for Political Affairs, Mr. Jean-Marie Frentz, Director of MENA and Mr. Delavar Ajgeiy, KRG Representative to the EU also attended the meeting.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in SecurityComments (0)

Cyprus to Open Office in Erbil


Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, received Minister Falah Mustafa on Thursday to discuss bilateral ties between the Kurdistan Region and the Republic of Cyprus as well as latest developments in the wider region.

In welcoming Minister Mustafa and his accompanying delegation, Foreign Minister Kasoulides said, “We are determined to strengthen bilateral ties with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region for the benefit of the people of both sides.”

Minister Mustafa thanked Foreign Minister Kasoulides for his hospitality and expressed the desire of the Kurdistan Regional Government to benefit from the experience and knowledge of the Republic of Cyprus in further advancing the Kurdistan Region.

Both sides spoke in detail of the military advances of the Kurdish peshmerga forces against ISIS on the ground, humanitarian condition of over 1.5 million refugees and internally displaced people in the Kurdistan Region as well as the political developments in Iraq, including Erbil-Baghdad relations.

Commending the KRG’s humanitarian response, the Foreign Minister stated that the KRG, with limited resources, has done an amazing job in providing humanitarian assistance for the refugees and displaced people who have sought refuge in the region.

Praising the role of the Kurds in the fight against ISIS, Minister Kasoulides, stressed that, “The bravery of Peshmerga forces and the resistance of Kurdish forces in the city of Kobane are very admirable and recognized by the international community.”

Both Ministers highlighted the importance of opening a representative office of the Republic of Cyprus in Erbil in order to further develop economic, political, cultural, and political ties between Erbil and Nicosia. Minister Kasoulides announced that Cyprus will open an honorary consulate in Erbil in a near future.
Minister Mustafa outlined Kurdistan Region’s extensive economic potential and investment opportunities.

He stressed, “Kurdistan is safe and secure; we encourage the companies of the Republic of Cyprus to invest in the Kurdistan Region and participate in the economic development of our region.”

Both Ministers discussed the crimes committed against Yezidis and other components by the ISIS terrorists. Foreign Minister Kasoulides conveyed the support of Cyprus for the KRG’s efforts in seeking international recognition of terrorist crimes committed against religious and ethnic minorities as acts of genocide.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Politics, SecurityComments (0)

Genel Completes $230m Bond Issue


By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced that it has priced an issue of U.S. $230 million in senior unsecured bonds due 14 May 2019 on the same commercial terms as the existing GENEL01 PRO U.S. $500 million bond.

The Bonds were issued at a market price in line with the trading level of GENEL01 PRO.

Fosun Group was a lead investor in the bond issue.

In a statement to the markets, the company said that the net proceeds of the Bonds will be used to underpin Genel’s financial strength and provide flexibility to implement its refocused Kurdistan Region of Iraq (“KRI”) strategy. After the successful issuance of the Bonds, the average cost of debt on the Company balance sheet is 8.7 percent.

In the KRI, production at the Taq Taq and Tawke fields continues to increase as planned. New gross daily production records have been set at both fields, with Taq Taq production having recently surpassed 142,000 bopd, and Tawke 147,000 bopd.

The temporary domestic market sales channel, implemented by the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”), under which contractors receive 50 percent of domestic sales proceeds, has run successfully for Taq Taq through February and March 2015. Around 30-40,000 bopd continues to be sold locally, and cash received in line with expectation. Domestic sales from Tawke have increased throughout March.

The oil export agreement between the KRG and Federal Government of Iraq is being fully implemented, and both sides remain firmly committed to the agreement. Production from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has risen to record levels, with exports by the KRG for marketing by SOMO increasing in line with mutually agreed forecasts, and in turn budget payments have been transferred to Erbil. This reinforces our expectation that payments for exports will be received through 2015.

Settlement date for the new Bonds is expected on or about 9 April 2015. Following settlement of the new Bonds, the Company intends to call for a bondholder meeting in the existing GENEL01 PRO bond. The meeting will seek approval for a merger of the two bond issues into one enlarged bond with a combined amount of U.S. $730 million listed on the Nordic ABM.

Pareto Securities has acted as manager for the transaction.

(Source: Genel Energy)

Posted in Banking & Finance, Investment, Oil & GasComments (9)

€114m Write-Off Expected at Petroceltic


By John Lee.

Analysts expect Dublin-based Petroceltic International to incur a write-off of just under €114 million ($125 million; 146 billion Iraqi dinars) as a result of abandoning its operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to a report from the Irish Independent, it is also expected to take a cash cost hit of about €6.4 million ($7 million; 8.1 billion Iraqi dinars) associated with the demobilisation of the project.

Brian O’Cathain, Chief Executive of Petroceltic, told the newspaper:

Obviously we would have preferred to drill on target in the time that was available and we are disappointed but a lot has changed [such as] oil prices and the political situation in Kurdistan.

“The write-off is significant and we would much prefer not to be making write offs, we would prefer to be doing developments but it is a non-cash cost so in terms of future exposure it is better to take a hit rather than continue with something that would have made no economic sense.

(Source: Irish Independent)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (4)

Hess, Petroceltic Abandon Dinarta Licence


By John Lee.

Irish-based Petroceltic International has announced that it and its partner Hess will abandon their Dinarta licence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The company told the stock market:

As previously announced on 15 January, drilling operations on the Shireen-1 exploration well in the Dinarta licence (Hess … (Operator) 64%, Petroceltic 16%, and the Kurdistan Regional Government 20%) encountered significant operational challenges since the resumption of drilling on 2 October 2014.

“The well reached a maximum depth of 1430m in Jurassic formations on 26 December 2014 before being suspended while forward options were reviewed by the Operator. This review concluded that an additional well would be required to further evaluate the exploration potential of the Shireen prospect, and that further operational difficulties could not be ruled out.

“In light of the current low oil price environment, lack of conclusive well results to date and the limited time remaining in the current period of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Dinarta licence, Hess and Petroceltic have jointly elected to withdraw from the Dinarta licence without any further drilling. All PSC work program obligations have been fulfilled other than the required final remediation of the well sites.”

Brian O’Cathain (pictured), Chief Executive of Petroceltic commented:

Petroceltic’s strategy remains clearly focussed on delivering from its core producing and development assets, whilst maintaining balanced exposure to longer term exploration led growth wherever possible.

“In light of this, and the current oil price environment, the decision to withdraw from Kurdistan is the right one for the business.”

Shares in Petroceltic were down 4 percent on Wednesday morning.

(Sources: Petroceltic, Yahoo!)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (7)

Gazprom Neft to Conduct Seismic Survey


Gazprom Neft is to conduct a 2D seismic survey on the south-eastern section of the Halabja block.

The technical equipment and personnel required for the survey are currently being transferred from the south-western section, where the company has already successfully completed a survey spanning 225 linear km. 2D seismic surveys covering approximately 870 linear km are scheduled to be conducted on the Halabja block by the end of the year.

In 2014, a 2D seismic survey covering 130 linear km was conducted on the block. The first exploration well is expected to be drilled in 2015/2016.

Mikhail Kholodov, CEO of Gazprom Neft Middle East, said:

“The Halabja block has until now undergone very little geological study. Conducting seismological surveys is the first step towards identifying the optimal location for an exploration well and these provide a significant amount of new information on the structure of the block.”

Gapzrom Neft is involved in four projects in Iraq, three of which are located in Kurdistan.

Gazprom Neft holds an 80% interest in the Halabja and Shakal blocks (the remaining 20% is held by the Kurdistan Regional Government). In August 2014 the drilling of two exploration wells began at the Shakal block, which are currently undergoing testing.

Gazprom Neft holds a 40% interest in the Garmian block and will become the operator of the project in 2015. Detailed appraisals of the field and preparation for its full-scale development are ongoing at the block. The Kurdistan Regional Government is currently considering a preliminary plan for the block’s development.

Gazprom Neft’s fourth project in Iraq is the development of the Badra oilfield located in the Wasit Province, Eastern Iraq. Preliminary estimates indicate total oil reserves at the Badra field at three billion barrels. Gazprom Neft operates the project and holds a 30% interest. Commercial production of oil at the Badra field began in August 2014.

(Source: JSC Gazprom Neft)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (9)

Armenia to Open Consulate in Erbil


Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, has received Mr. Levon Sargsyan, Ambassador-at-large and Special Envoy of the Armenian Government, and Mr. Karin Gregorian, Ambassador of Armenia to Iraq.

Mr. Sargasyan conveyed the greetings of the President and Prime Minister of Armenia to Prime Minister Barzani and stressed his country’s desire to build solid ties with Erbil.

In this regard, he proposed the formation of a joint friendship commission between the Kurdistan Region and Armenia, that would work to develop cooperation in a number of fields like culture, trade, economy and other areas of common interest.

The guest delegation also expressed its government’s desire to open Armenian Consulate in Erbil in the near future and start direct flights between Erbil and Yerevan.

Mr. Sargasyan pointed out that his country’s private sector is also interested in investing in the Kurdistan Region, for which he asked for Kurdistan Regional Government’s assistance.

Prime Minister Barzani welcomed the decision of opening the Armenian Consulate in Erbil and starting direct flights to the Kurdistan Region.

He said, he will fully support the formation of a joint friendship commission between Erbil and Yerevan, which would discuss those areas where both sides can work together, adding that the Kurdistan Regional Government is prepared to assist Armenia’s private sector to invest in the Kurdistan Region in accordance with the investment laws of the Region.

The Prime Minster stressed the importance of political and economic relations between the two sides, as well as developing educational cooperation, particularly in the field of providing scholarship to students wishing to study in Armenia.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & TradeComments (4)

KRG “can be Self-Sufficient in Months”


By John Lee.

Ashti Hawrami (pictured), KRG energy minister, has said that Iraqi Kurdistan is expected to reach financial self-sufficiency from Baghdad within months, despite central government withholding the region’s 17 percent share of budget.

Speaking to Rudaw, he outlined plans to increase oil production to 750,000 bpd by the end of this year.

In a separate statement this week, the KRG said it has honored 97 percent of its commitments under the oil agreement with Baghdad, but said the central government has lived up to only 20 percent of its financial obligations.

(Source: Rudaw)

Posted in Oil & Gas, PoliticsComments (8)

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