May 4 (UPI) -- First quarter results mean current market conditions support a doubling of the amount of activity in Kurdish oil fields, a Norwegian energy company said.
Norwegian oil and gas company DNO said first quarter results showed a profit of $15 million, against a $31 million loss in the previous term. Revenues were up 83 percent.
As a result, the company said it was expanding its investment program for the year, "including doubling of planned 2017 wells at the Tawke field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq."
The company said it plans eight new production wells in its flagship assets in the Kurdish north of Iraq, which is under threat, but largely isolated from regional conflict attributed to the fight against regional militants, including the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
DNO's working-interest production from the Kurdish north was 68,809 barrels of oil equivalent per day, an improvement over full-year 2016 by about 3.5 percent. First quarter 2016 production was 56,863 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Last year, the company said it exported the bulk of what it produced from the Tawke license area through a pipeline north for exports through Turkey. Regional conflict has in the past disrupted some of those exports, though DNO said it's commissiosned 400,000 barrels in storage from a third party in order to compensate for any export disruptions or other closures.
Iraq agreed to cut about 210,000 barrels per day 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 semiautonomous Kurdish government wasn't contributing to the arrangement.
Fluid production figures from OPEC members and the United States have kept crude oil prices suppressed after they approached $60 per barrel earlier this year. Brent crude oil, the benchmark for global oil prices, was trading around $50 per barrel in early Thursday trading.
DNO held out a new discovery with the Tawke license area as a major achievement last year, adding 47.9 million barrels of oil equivalent of gross contingent resources to its portfolio.