DNO International ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas company, announced today that oil production from the Tawke field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has averaged over 100,000 barrels a day during the previous 72 hours as the Company conducts well and pipeline deliverability tests following its 2012 drilling program and facilities upgrades.
“We are very pleased with the performance of the field,” said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani (pictured), DNO International’s Executive Chairman. “Having met this first deliverability milestone, we continue to reinvest to double Tawke production capacity.”
DNO International holds a 55 percent interest in and operates the Tawke license. Genel Energy plc holds 25 percent and the Kurdistan Regional Government the remaining 20 percent interest.
Bin Shabib & Associates (BSA) LLP recently supported the French Business Council Dubai and Northern Emirates, in hosting a cocktail reception at the Divan hotel in Erbil.
The reception was attended by representatives from several French companies looking to invest in Kurdistan, government officials, Regulator of Insurance Authority, the French Embassy, the President of the French Business Council and Bin Shabib representatives – Michael Kortbawi, Partner in the Dubai office and Estelle Rami, Head of the Erbil office.
Michael Kortbawi commented ‘Erbil is the ideal platform to explore Iraq and we believe that several investment opportunities for French companies will materialize over the next six months, mainly in tourism, food & beverage, security, logistics and construction. We are delighted to welcome the French Business Council of Dubai and Northern Emirates in Erbil and guide their members in their future endeavors in Kurdistan and Iraq’.
The Bin Shabib Erbil office opened in November 2012, expanding their current network of offices within the Middle East. The office marked a significant step in Bin Shabib’s plan to serve regional and international clients throughout the MENA region and acts as a gateway to providing a full range of legal services in the whole of Iraq.
Estelle Rami has recently been appointed as the new Head of Office in Erbil. Estelle has extensive knowledge of the MENA region and used to act as Legal Counsel for Solidere in Beirut, with legal expertise in real estate, corporate and tax. Estelle’s previous experience includes restructuring a group of companies, establishing financial schemes for development projects, monitoring new investments and advising on corporate and personal tax issues. Previously to joining Bin Shabib, Estelle was a legal consultant for Solidere Beirut and Solidere International.
According to property consultancy Colliers, there is a “clear market opportunity” to develop branded hotel projects in Erbil.
Construction Weekly Online reports occupancy rates are increasing, and the construction of a new airport in the city has had a positive effect on the numbers of both business and leisure tourists.
The total number of people using the airport more than doubled from 435,469 in 2010 to 947,600 last year.
Revenues per available room increased from $119 in 2010 to $179 in 2011 and $216 last year, with Colliers forecasting a further increase to $233 this year.
The firm’s report states that domestic visitors make up the bulk of the numbers, but added that “international visitation is on the rise given the importance of Erbil as a safe business destination in Iraq”.
Operators such as Hilton and Best Western have already announced plans to open in the city.
Dana Gas PJSC, the Middle East’s largest regional private sector natural gas company, has announced its financial results for the first quarter ended 31 March 2013 with a net profit after tax of AED 241 million (US$ 66 million), an increase of 17% as compared to AED 206 million (US$56 million) in Q1 2012. Revenue from the sale of hydrocarbons during Q1 2013 was AED 557 million (US$ 152 million).
Revenues and gross profit declined during Q1 2013, owing to a conservative cash policy towards capital expenditure and a temporary suspension of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (“LPG”) production in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (“KRI”).
Revenues and gross profits are expected to increase as new discoveries in Egypt are brought to production and upon resumption of LPG production in Kurdistan in June 2013 following completion of repairs to the LPG loading bay.
Commenting on the results, Dr. Adel Al-Sabeeh, Chairman of Dana Gas, said: “Our disciplined approach and long-term business strategy has allowed Dana Gas to achieve an encouraging first quarter while completing the refinancing of the sukuk and posting an increase in net profit. We are committed to expanding regionally and were successful in our bid to be awarded an oil and gas prospecting project in northern offshore Egypt as well as pre-qualifying in Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round.”
Rashid Al-Jarwan, Executive Director and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Dana Gas, added:
“We have had an active start to the year. Egypt and Kurdistan have increased their quarterly production as we brought on stream discoveries, added compression facilities to enhance current production. These developments, combined with the completion of the sukuk refinancing has meant we can approach the rest of 2013 with renewed confidence and ensure our future growth plans deliver value to our stakeholders.”
Production and Development
The Group’s net production averaged 61,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from its interests in Egypt and the KRI during the three months ended 31 March 2013.
Shares in Afren have risen more than 5 percent since the publication of its Interim Management Statement on Thursday.
In the statement, the company gave the following update on its operations in Iraqi Kurdistan:
As part of the phased development of the field, Afren initiated production operations in August 2012 producing its first cargo of sales specification oil to tank. Initial storage capacity limits during the early phases of start-up at the field led the Group to restrict flow-to-tank from the well. To date, approximately 18,800 barrels is held in storage at the field and first sales are expected shortly.
Afren has commenced Phase 2 operations on the field which will involve new wells to increase production capacity, evaluate new field areas and acquire modern log and core data to better understand and delineate the field. The Partners commenced drilling on the BR-5 well in March 2013 using the Romfor-23 drilling rig which is currently drilling ahead at around 6,200 ft. The BR-4 well will be drilled using the Viking I-10 rig and is expected to spud in May 2013. The wells will be drilled to test the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs identified in the previous wells drilled on the structure.
Testing of the Simrit-2 well is now complete with aggregate flow rates of 19,641 bopd achieved from the planned Drill Stem Test (DST) programme. The well is currently being completed for an Extended Well Test (EWT) in the Jurassic age, Mus/Adaiyah reservoirs. Produced crude is expected to be trucked to local markets.
Turkish prime minister has said that state-owned Turkiye Petrolleri AO (TPAO) is has reached an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and ExxonMobil to carry out oil exploration in northern Iraq.
Tayyip Erdoğan (pictured) told reporters:
“Countries from various parts of the world are taking steps to explore and produce oil in different parts of Iraq, and then deliver it to world oil markets.
“There’s nothing more normal, more natural than Turkey, which provides all kinds of support and aid to its next-door neighbor, to take a step that is based on mutual benefit.“
An Ankara-based source told Hurriyet Daily News that TPAO will take equity stakes in a partnership with Exxon and KRG, and would become part of the production-sharing agreement.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan said that details would be clearer after his visit to the US – he is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday.
Shares in ShaMaran Petroleum were down as much as 6 percent this morning following the announced of its financial and operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2013. (Unless otherwise stated all currency amounts indicated as “$” in this news release are expressed in thousands of United States dollars).
A Field Development Plan for the Atrush Block was submitted for approval to the KRG on May 7, 2013 which is in accordance with the terms of the Atrush Block PSC.
The Atrush-3 appraisal well, located five kilometers to the east of the Atrush-2 appraisal well, was spudded on March 25, 2013 with a planned total depth of 1,700 meters.
The Company announced on February 4, 2013 an increase of 35% in Best Estimate 2C Contingent Resources (gross) for the Atrush Block, from 465.6 MMBOE at December 31, 2011 to 627.3 MMBOE at the end of 2012. The estimates were provided by the Company’s independent qualified resources evaluator, McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd., in a Detailed Property Report prepared as at December 31, 2012.
On March 12, 2013 the Contractor entities to the Atrush Block PSC were notified by the Kurdistan regional Government (“KRG”) that it had exercised its option to acquire a 25% Government Interest in accordance with the provisions of the Atrush Block PSC.
At March 31, 2013 the Company had a cash balance of $35.3 million and working capital of $26.7 million.
Financial and Operating Results for the three months ended March 31st, 2013
During the three months ended March 31, 2013 the Company continued its appraisal and development campaign in respect of the Atrush petroleum property located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which constitutes the continuing operations of the Company. Atrush currently generates no revenues. The net loss in the quarter principally relates to the general and administrative expenses incurred in respect of the continuing operations of the Company.