Kurdish oil export payments boost DNO's performance

Kurdish revenues accounted for about 94 percent of the total for the Norwegian oil and gas company.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Aug. 24, 2017 at 7:21 AM
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Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Revenues for the first half of the year were up more than 40 percent from last year in part because of export payments from the Kurdish north of Iraq, DNO said.

DNO, a Norwegian oil and gas company, has a strong presence in the Kurdish region of Iraq, with a net operated production of 114,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the first half of the year. At its Tawke license area in the region, gross production averaged 108,434 barrels of oil per day, of which 99.3 percent was sent through pipelines north for exports from Turkey.

Revenues in the first half of the year were up 43 percent in part because of regular payments for exports by the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. Free cash flow jumped by a factor of four.

"Revenues in the second quarter stood at $81.7 million, compared to $76.7 million in the previous quarter," the company stated. "Kurdistan contributed revenues of $77.1 million."

Budgetary constraints for the Kurdish government caused contractual issues with international energy companies working in the region in the past. With more than a dozen consecutive monthly export payments, DNO said it was now ready to ramp up drilling with three rigs currently active across the portfolio.

In a separate statement, DNO said it increased its hold over the Tawke license to 75 percent. Combined with the nearby Peshkabir field, proven and probable reserves are more than 500 million barrels. In addition, the company said it reached settlements with the Kurdish government on license fees and other obligations.

"We are very pleased with the government's initiative to settle receivables and normalize export payments to the operators," DNO Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement. "This sends a strong positive signal to investors and helps restore confidence in Kurdistan's oil sector."

Iraq agreed to cut about 210,000 bpd from its production under the terms of a managed decline agreement coordinated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The central government in Baghdad said in the past the Kurdish government wasn't contributing to the arrangement.

A Kurdish referendum for independence from Iraq is set for Sept. 25.

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