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Norway's DNO sets sights on Kurdish oil leadership

We'll out-drill and out-produce the regional competition, the company's executive chairman said.

By Daniel J. Graeber

March 15 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company DNO set the bar high Wednesday for its operations in the Kurdish north of Iraq by committing to beat all of its rivals combined.

"We are committed this year to continue to out-drill, out-produce and out-perform all other international companies in Kurdistan combined," DNO's Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement.

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DNO focuses heavily on operations in the Kurdish north of Iraq. Production from its Tawke field last year averaged 105,500 barrels of oil per day. Peshkabir, which started production in the middle of last year, added another 3,600 bpd.

Operations near flagship production facilities in the Kurdish north of Iraq were clouded by security challenges. In January, RBC Capital Markets said it was looking at whether general gains from Peshkabir would lead to overall improvements, or just offset the declines from other areas.

RELATED Kurdish oil producer Genel Energy could see gains this year

DNO said its total operated production last year averaged 113,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up just 900 boe per day from 2016. The company draws from non-Kurdish basins in Yemen, Oman and elsewhere.

Annual revenues, however, climbed 72 percent from 2016 to $347 million. The company said it plans to drill 10 new wells in the Kurdish north this year, which would contribute to production growth.

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"Looking ahead to 2018, the company plans to hike year-on-year Kurdistan operational spend by more than 50 percent to $250 million - up more than three times 2016 levels," DNO stated.

RELATED Kurdish gas reserve upgrade met with production questions

A pipeline runs north from the Kurdish region of Iraq to connect with a network running to a Turkish sea port on the Mediterranean. A separate network extends from the contested region of Kirkuk, but was damaged by conflict and requires rehabilitation.

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