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Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

A collection of threads on topics that get updated regularly :
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:53 pm

Iraqi Kurdistan-focused oil shares hit by Islamic State advance

Gulf News

Arbil: Shares of energy companies operating in Iraqi Kurdistan plunged on Thursday and two US companies evacuated some staff as Islamic

State of Syria and Levant (Isil) militants advanced within 45 kilometers of Arbil, a key hub for oil producers.

Companies that produce oil in the semi-autonomous region, including Oslo-listed DNO ASA, as well as London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd and Genel Energy Plc saw double-digit declines in their share prices as the radical Sunni militants seized 15 towns.

While the companies said their oil fields continued to operate, there are growing concerns about the security risks faced by firms active in Iraqi Kurdistan, seen as a beacon of relative stability in the region.

“Investors are now taking into account the risk,” ABG Sundal Collier analyst Oeyvind Hagen said, adding it remained difficult to judge how far into the Kurdish region the Islamists could penetrate.

Shares in DNO fell as much as 24 per cent and Gulf Keystone Petroleum was down 13 percent at their lowest point, before paring losses. Genel shares were down over 10 percent.

Gulf Keystone said it had increased security at its flagship Shaikan field, Iraqi Kurdistan’s largest, but added that production and trucking operations were continuing safely.

DNO operates the Tawke field, in which Genel is also a partner, which produces around 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

Other Kurdistan oil producers including London-listed Afren PLC and Toronto-listed Oryx Petroleum Corporation Ltd , which operates the fields closest to the militants advance, declined to comment. Shares of Oryx were down as much as 11 percent.

Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil said on Thursday they were evacuating staff from Kurdistan as the militants advanced.

The companies have been drilling and testing new wells in the region. Exxon said little about its Kurdistan holdings at an analysts meeting earlier this year. As recently as last week, Chevron executives told investors they were “very encouraged” by initial Kurdistan well results.

Marathon Oil Corp, a US oil and gas company that is also drilling in Kurdistan said in a statement that all of its employees are currently accounted for but evacuation is under consideration if the security situation worsens.

Energy companies have flocked to Iraqi Kurdistan in recent years, hoping to access what is believed to be one of the world’s last huge conventional onshore oil deposits.

The regional capital Arbil houses many western oil workers and executives, and has seen an investment boom despite tensions with Baghdad over the control of oil sales and revenues.

Most worrying for investors this week has been the pullback of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Peshmerga soldiers.

Facing militants freshly armed with US-made heavy weapons seized from the Iraqi army, the Peshmergas have given up several towns since Sunday.

Witnesses on Thursday said the militants had seized the town of Makhmur, around 40 km from the regional capital Arbil, but Kurdish officials told local media their forces remained in control there and television channels broadcast footage of Peshmerga fighters driving around the town.

The militant group said in a statement on its Twitter account that its fighters had seized 15 towns, the strategic Mosul dam on the Tigris River and a military base.

DNO, which describes its prospects in Iraqi Kurdistan as ‘the jewel in the crown’ on its website, was the first international energy company to enter the Iraqi Kurdistan region in 2004.

Production from the region accounted for 55 percent of its revenue last year.

http://gulfnews.com/business/oil-gas/ir ... s+RSS+feed
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:56 pm

Today's Zaman

Kurdish oil pipeline via Turkey runs normally despite militant advance

The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) oil pipeline via Turkey is operating normally and pumping 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil despite an advance by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq, sources told Reuters on Friday.

"The crude flow is uninterrupted, pumping around 120,000 bpd," one industry source said. "Some fields such as Taq Taq are actually producing their highest."

The Sunni militants extended their gains on Thursday, seizing more towns and strengthening their presence near the Kurdish region in an offensive that has alarmed Baghdad and regional powers.

Until this week, most of Kurdistan had been protected from militants by its own armed forces, called the peshmerga. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fleeing the Islamists, including Christians and Yazidis, have taken refuge in the Kurdish area.

The KRG's independent oil pipeline came online last December and connects with the Baghdad-controlled federal Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline on the Turkish side of the border, carrying Kurdish crude to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

The federal Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline carrying Kirkuk oil to Ceyhan has been down after consecutive attacks.

KRG shipped its first independent oil exports via Ceyhan to world markets in May, but has met strong objections from Baghdad and efforts to block its shipments as the central government sees itself as the sole authority on Iraqi oil.

The latest tanker carrying 260,000 barrels of Kurdish oil left Ceyhan port on Sunday.

Reuters photographs showed what appeared to be Islamic State fighters controlling a checkpoint at the border area of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, little over 30 minutes' drive from Arbil, a city of 1.5 million that is headquarters of the Kurdish regional government and many businesses.

The fighters had raised the movement's black flag over the guard post. However, a Kurdish security official denied that the militants were in control of the Khazer checkpoint. The regional government said its forces were advancing and would "defeat the terrorists", urging people to stay calm.

http://www.todayszaman.com/world_kurdis ... 54963.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:01 pm

World Bulletin

Afren suspends output at Kurdish Barda Rash oilfield

Afren's other operations in Iraqi Kurdistan continued to function normally but the company said it was closely monitoring events on the ground.

World Bulletin/News Desk

Oil company Afren has suspended output at its Barda Rash oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan, the first field to shut in the region as ISIL militants advance closer, weighing on shares of London-listed oil producers active there.

"Afren has taken the precautionary step to temporarily suspend operations at the Barda Rash field," the company said in a statement, adding it was withdrawing all non-essential staff from the field.

Shares in Afren opened 7 percent lower on Friday, while Gulf Keystone Petroleum was down 2.6 percent and Genel traded 5 percent lower at 0712 GMT.

Oslo-listed oil producer DNO defied the trend, gaining nearly 3 percent as its shares reacted positively to a U.S. pledge to defend the Kurdish capital Arbil.

"There is a concern that DNO and Genel may follow suit, but both have much more material operations in the country than Afren," said Sanjeev Bahl, analyst at Numis.

U.S. oil majors Chevron and Exxon Mobil said on Thursday they were evacuating some staff from Kurdistan.

Gulf Keystone said it had increased security at its flagship Shaikan field, Iraqi Kurdistan's largest, but added that production and trucking operations were continuing safely.

Barda Rash, which is 60 percent owned by Afren, was producing a gross average of 785 barrels per day (bpd) of oil in the first quarter, making it a relatively small field.

Afren's other operations in Kurdistan continued to function normally but the company said it was closely monitoring events on the ground.

Barda Rash is Afren's only producing oil asset in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The oil explorer said the suspension of production at Barda Rash was not expected to have a significant impact on the company's cashflow.

On Thursday, some oil companies active in Iraqi Kurdistan saw double-digit share price declines as investors weighed the risk of possible production losses.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/14213 ... h-oilfield
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:07 pm

This confirms the previous article in this extremely confusing and fast moving situation:

Ahram

Militant advance disrupts oil production in Iraqi Kurdistan

London listed Afren was the first firm operating in Kurdish Iraq to cut production as the Islamic state militants approach Arbil

Oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan began to withdraw more staff on Friday as Islamic State militants closed in on the regional capital, with Afren becoming the first to announce it was cutting production.

Shares of London-listed oil firms active in northern Iraq fell for a second day as other field closures and staff evacuations became more likely in a region seen until now as relatively secure compared to the rest of the country.

The Islamic State considers non-Muslims and adherents to Shi'ite Islam as apostates, and in many towns it has captured it has made a stark offer: convert, flee, or die.

They have advanced to little over a half-hour drive from Arbil, a city of 1.5 million that is headquarters of the Kurdish regional government and the local branches of many international businesses.

"Afren has taken the precautionary step to temporarily suspend operations at the Barda Rash field," the company said, adding it was withdrawing all non-essential staff from the field.
Genel Energy, operator of the two large Taq Taq and Tawke oilfields in Kurdistan, said it evacuated non-core personnel from fields in the region that are not producing oil.

Taq Taq and Tawke are still operating, it said, and have been producing an average of 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) this week.
Genel recouped some of an early decline after it reassured investors about its continuing operations, but it remained almost 3 percent down on the day and has lost 20 percent of its value since last Friday.

Afren fell 4.5 percent, while Gulf Keystone Petroleum, another Kurdistan-focused oil producer, was down 6.2 percent, although both narrowed those declines later in the session.
Oslo-listed oil producer DNO defied the trend, leaping 8 percent on the back of a technical buying rebound. In early trading on Thursday, DNO had fallen by as much as 24 percent as investors took fright.

"(Afren's oilfield closure) underlines the severity of the security situation in Kurdistan and the potential risks for those operating in the region," said analysts at Maribaud Securities.

U.S. oil majors Chevron had already announced on Thursday they were evacuating some staff from Kurdistan. An industry source said Exxon Mobil was also evacuating.

Gulf Keystone has increased security at its flagship Shaikan field but said production and trucking operations were continuing safely.

The Kurdistan Regional Government's oil pipeline through which it has been pumping oil to Turkey since December was operating normally on Friday, flowing 120,000 bpd of oil, industry sources told Reuters.

Barda Rash, Afren's only producing oil asset in Iraqi Kurdistan, is 60 percent owned by the company. It was producing a gross average of 785 bpd of oil in the first quarter, making it a relatively small field.

Afren's other operations in Kurdistan continued to function normally but the company said it was closely monitoring events. It said the Barda Rash suspension was not expected to have a significant impact on its cashflow.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had authorized limited U.S. airstrikes to blunt the onslaught of the militants, which has heightened international fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Tens of thousands of members of Iraq's minority Yazidi sect have been driven from their homes and are stranded on Sinjar mountain.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent ... raqi-.aspx
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:14 pm

It is not always easy to keep up with the changing events

If YOU have any information about Kurdistan Oil

PLEASE share it on this thread


Oil is the life-blood of Kurdistan

without it Kurdistan dies
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:57 pm

Huffington Post

While U.S. Defends The Kurds With Airstrikes, It's Choking Off Needed Oil Revenue

WASHINGTON -- A leading Democratic voice on foreign affairs called Friday for the White House to drop U.S. opposition to allowing the Kurdistan Regional Government to sell its own oil.

On Thursday night, President Barack Obama declared that the United States would defend the Kurds, who are facing an onslaught from the militant forces of the Islamic State. By Friday morning, that promise had turned into airstrikes on Islamic State positions threatening the Kurdish regional capital, Erbil. But at the same time, the administration is contributing to a problem that undermines the Kurds at their most vulnerable moment: They are running out of cash.

The Iraqi national government is required to share oil revenue with the Kurdistan Regional Government, but the Kurds say it has failed to do so recently. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has moved to block the Kurds' efforts to sell oil on their own. A State Department official told The Washington Post that the U.S. government is warning potential buyers that they face "serious legal risks." And so, even as the Kurds are under siege, a tanker carrying $100 million worth of their oil just sits in the Gulf of Mexico, one of several such stranded tankers.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on Friday that "if the Iraqi government does not resume the financial support owed to the Kurds, we should end our resistance to the direct sale of Kurdish oil."

Brett McGurk, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, has said on Twitter that the Iraqi central government and the Kurds must come to an agreement. "[T]he situation demonstrates why it is incumbent on Baghdad and Erbil to find a negotiated resolution," he said.

But politicians in Baghdad have been unable to even form a government or persuade Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step aside, much less reach a negotiated resolution with the Kurds.

Our policy on the underlying issue has been clear and consistent. Iraq’s energy resources belong to all of the Iraqi people.

— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) July 30, 2014

Apparently ignoring the real-world effects of the U.S. stance, McGurk added, "There is no U.S. ban on the transfer or sale of oil originating from any part of Iraq. Suggestions to the contrary is false."

McGurk didn't reply on Twitter Friday when asked if the administration would now support the Kurds' selling oil, given the U.S. military support underway.

The U.S. has opposed the independent sale of oil over concerns that permitting the Kurds economic independence would be another step toward their long-sought dream of an independent Kurdish state.

"We are trying to help the Kurds meet immediate needs. We don't think the solution to that is to shift toward them acting more like a state in things like oil sales. We still believe that this can be done within the context of a united Iraq," a senior administration official told HuffPost. The U.S. is sending weapons to the Kurds but funneling them through the Iraqi central government, he said.

Asked if the White House was concerned about the Kurdistan Regional Government's cash flow situation, the official said, "The Kurds have, relative to the rest of Iraq frankly, a more successful economy in many ways. So I think we can meet their needs as far as urgent arms and financial resources without beginning to carve out a relationship that separates them from Iraq. We're not dealing with them as an independent entity but rather as a region within Iraq."

The Kurds "haven't been able to pay their soldiers for a few months nor their civil servants," said Peter Galbraith, an American foreign policy expert close to the Kurds. "The U.S. position ought to be either Baghdad pays the 17 percent [of national oil revenue] or allow the Kurds to sell the oil."

Galbraith said the Kurds have borrowed internationally and from companies doing business in Kurdistan, as well as effectively from the population itself, and are running short on options. "It's a tough situation," he said. But, he said, the airstrikes "have had a very big effect on both military and civilian morale," and seasoned Kurdish fighters are flooding in from Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Schiff said he understands that the White House is "walking a fine line" and that any apparent support of Kurdish independence could make formation of a unity government in Iraq more difficult. But, he said, the situation is at crisis levels and requires action. "Certainly the events of the last few days couldn't put it in any sharper relief," Schiff said.

Vice President Joe Biden called Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani on Thursday, the White House said, "and reaffirmed his commitment to take whatever actions necessary to protect Americans in Erbil, including targeted airstrikes."

Biden has been a past supporter of Kurdish statehood, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that the Kurds should be able to form their own state if they choose. Turkey has long been opposed to an independent Kurdistan on its border, worried that statehood would energize Turkish Kurds who similarly wish to break away. But Turkey's ruling party recently switched its position, declaring its openness to Kurdish independence on its border.

Indeed, it was a deal with Turkey that allowed the Kurdish oil to make it to sea. And in June, Israel purchased some of the Kurds' oil.

Iraqi leaders in Baghdad, meanwhile, are fiddling. "They're still negotiating and want to keep the Kurds economically dependent on Baghdad, and they don't seem to realize the world is falling apart around them," Schiff said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/0 ... 62720.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:16 am

Iraqi Kurdistan oil firms pull out staff, shares fall
By David Sheppard and Karolin Schaps

Oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan withdrew more staff on Friday as the United States launched airstrikes to defend the regional capital Arbil from Islamic State militants and Britain told its citizens to leave.

Iraqi Kurdistan-focused shares have fallen as investors reappraise the autonomous region's much-vaunted security. Some of the biggest oil operators in the region have lost almost a quarter of their market value this week.

London-listed Afren and Toronto-listed Oryx said on Friday they were cutting production at oilfields closest to the fighting.

Genel, led by ex-BP CEO Tony Hayward and one of the biggest producers in Iraqi Kurdistan, said it was withdrawing "non-essential" workers but maintaining the combined 230,000 barrel per day output from its large Taq Taq and Tawke fields.

Total Kurdish production totaled about 360,000 barrels per day in June, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. About a third of that was exported, though Baghdad has been working to block sales outside its central system.

Production has been cut by less than 5,000 barrels per day so far, according to company statements, but there are fears that could rise.

U.S. military aircraft bombed Islamic State artillery attacking Kurdish positions southwest of Arbil, the Pentagon said, the first U.S. airstrike since the militants started their advance across northern Iraq in early June.

The Eurasia Group consultancy warned that while the strikes may help the Kurdish Regional Government defend major cities, energy infrastructure in the region remained at great risk.

"The fact that most energy assets are located in the western part of the Kurdish region, and therefore closer to ISIS (Islamic State) controlled regions, presents a sustained threat to these developments," Ayham Kamel, Eurasia's Middle East and North Africa director said.

"Clashes with the Islamic State close to the Kalak refinery and the Kurmala-Fishkhabour oil export pipeline significantly increase risks to Kurdish energy infrastructure and potential expansion plans."

The Kurmala pipeline carries crude from Genel's Taq Taq field into the broader KRG pipeline system, though the field lies some 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the southeast of Arbil.

Genel's Tawke field is close to the Turkish border, far north of the fighting.

The Kurdistan Regional Government's oil pipeline through which it has been pumping oil to Turkey since December was operating normally on Friday, flowing 120,000 bpd of oil, industry sources told Reuters.

Sunni fighters from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot bent on establishing a caliphate and eradicating unbelievers, have routed Kurdish troops in the past week to get within a half-hour drive of the prosperous capital Arbil.

Britain told its citizens on Friday to leave Arbil and other parts of Iraqi Kurdistan close to the fighting warning the security situation could "deteriorate quickly".

SHARES DOWN

Genel recouped some of an early decline after it reassured investors about its continued operations, but fell 2.3 percent and has lost 20 percent of its value since last Friday.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum, another Kurdistan-focused oil producer, lost 2 percent, recovering from a 10 percent fall early in the session but down 24 percent since last Friday.

The firm said it had increased security at its flagship Shaikan field, which lies more than 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of Arbil, far from the fighting. It said production and trucking operations were continuing safely.

Afren fell 1 percent, while Oryx shares slipped 0.4 percent.

Barda Rash, Afren's only producing oil asset in Iraqi Kurdistan, is 60 percent owned by the company. It was producing a gross average of 785 bpd of oil in the first quarter, making it a relatively small field. Afren's other operations in Iraqi Kurdistan continued to function normally.

Oslo-listed oil producer DNO defied the trend, climbing 5 percent on the back of a technical buying rebound. In early trade on Thursday, DNO fell by as much as 24 percent as investors took fright.

U.S. oil major Chevron had already announced on Thursday they were evacuating some staff from Kurdistan. An industry source said Exxon Mobil was also evacuating.

(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London and Balazs Koranyi in Oslo; editing by David Sheppard and David Clarke)

http://news.yahoo.com/iraqi-kurdistan-o ... tAD4SCT8P7
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:22 am

Oil Voice

Gulf Keystone Petroleum provides an update on security situation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited yesterday confirmed that the Company's operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including ongoing production and trucking operations at both Shaikan production facilities, remain safe and secure.

While there is no immediate threat to any of the Company's operations in the region, we continue to monitor the situation closely and operate with increased security as a precaution.

The Company's results for the period ended 30 June 2014 will be announced on Thursday 28 August 2014.

http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Gulf_Keystone ... d7442.aspx
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:24 am

Oil Voice

Genel Energy provides an update regarding Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Following recent events in the vicinity of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq ('KRI'), Genel Energy plc can confirm that the Taq Taq and Tawke fields remain safe and secure. Operations there are unaffected, with combined gross production from both fields averaging c.230,000 bopd this week.

We remain confident in the Kurdistan Regional Government's ability to maintain the territorial integrity of both the KRI and oil infrastructure.

In line with moves by other operators, we are taking the prudent and precautionary step of withdrawing non-essential personnel from our non-producing assets in the region.

http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Genel_Energy_ ... 98a09.aspx
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:29 am

Gigzone

Kurdish Oil Pipeline via Turkey Runs Normally Despite Militant Advance

ISTANBUL, Aug 8 (Reuters) – The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) oil pipeline via Turkey is operating normally and pumping 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil despite an advance by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq, sources told Reuters on Friday.

"The crude flow is uninterrupted, pumping around 120,000 bpd," one industry source said. "Some fields such as Taq Taq are actually producing their highest."

The Sunni militants extended their gains on Thursday, seizing more towns and strengthening their presence near the Kurdish region in an offensive that has alarmed Baghdad and regional powers.

Until this week, most of Kurdistan had been protected from militants by its own armed forces, called the peshmerga. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fleeing the Islamists, including Christians and Yazidis, have taken refuge in the Kurdish area.

The KRG's independent oil pipeline came online last December and connects with the Baghdad-controlled federal Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline on the Turkish side of the border, carrying Kurdish crude to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

The federal Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline carrying Kirkuk oil to Ceyhan has been down after consecutive attacks.

KRG shipped its first independent oil exports via Ceyhan to world markets in May, but has met strong objections from Baghdad and efforts to block its shipments as the central government sees itself as the sole authority on Iraqi oil.

The latest tanker carrying 260,000 barrels of Kurdish oil left Ceyhan port on Sunday.

Reuters photographs showed what appeared to be Islamic State fighters controlling a checkpoint at the border area of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, little over 30 minutes' drive from Arbil, a city of 1.5 million that is headquarters of the Kurdish regional government and many businesses.

The fighters had raised the movement's black flag over the guard post. However, a Kurdish security official denied that the militants were in control of the Khazer checkpoint. The regional government said its forces were advancing and would "defeat the terrorists", urging people to stay calm.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Orhan Coskun; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Dale Hudson)

http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/1 ... nt_Advance
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:57 am

Kurdistan Ministry of Natural Resources

Statement by the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources

9 August 2014

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq


The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) attaches the highest priority to the safety and security of all oil industry workers and their operations in the Kurdistan Region.

The MNR remains in constant contact with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) security forces regarding the deterioration of security on the Region’s borders and it continues to share all relevant information with its contractors.

Until now, the enemy has not been able to target oil operations in the Region, but as a precautionary measure some of the exploration activities in areas abutting potential combat zones have been temporarily halted and staff relocated.

However, oil production in the Region remains unaffected, and is being delivered to both the domestic and export markets. Indeed, the KRG is expecting that the producing companies will ramp up production in the coming weeks as ongoing export infrastructure improvements come online as planned.

The producing companies continue to receive their share of production and revenue from all the domestic uses of the oil, and they have been advised to also work on the export sales for their share of the exported oil.

Meanwhile, the MNR would like to remind the operating and the service companies working in the Region not to take any steps without close coordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources, as this may lead to unnecessary complications and in some cases could harm the operators’ own interests as well as the KRG’s overall needs.

The MNR is continuing with oil exports and sales via Ceyhan and welcomes the support and investment of the oil companies in the Kurdistan Region.

http://mnr.krg.org/index.php/en/press-r ... tan-region
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:21 pm

Vox

Three ways that oil matters for the crisis in Iraq

For months now, Sunni militants from the Islamic State (better known as ISIS) have been seizing control of large swathes of Iraq

But it wasn't until they encroached into semi-autonomous Kurdish territory and near the Kurdish capital of Erbil — an oil boomtown full of Western companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil — that the Obama administration decided to authorize airstrikes against ISIS.

That rather felicitous timing has already led a few commentators to suggest that the current US intervention is all about oil. That's probably overstating things — the US intervention seems to have a variety of goals here, like protecting the Kurds more generally and preventing ISIS from massacring Iraq's Yazidis. But it'd also be wrong to pretend that oil is totally irrelevant to the larger crisis in Iraq.

Iraq is currently the world's seventh-largest oil producer, churning out some 3.3 million barrels per day in April. And Kurdistan is responsible for about 10 percent of that production — so ISIS is threatening a key producer. Meanwhile, disputes over how to divvy up Kurdistan's oil revenue are a significant factor in Iraq's never-ending political impasses. And the Obama administration has become entangled in a fight over whether Kurdistan should be allowed to sell its oil directly onto the world markets.

So here's a rundown of three ways that oil matters for the ongoing crisis in Iraq:

1) Kurdistan is a major oil prize — and ISIS threatens that

The Kurdish region of Iraq — home to 5 million Kurds — has been semi-autonomous since the 1991 Gulf War, with its own government and military (the peshmerga). But it didn't become a major oil-producing region until after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

The region has two large oil fields in particular — Taq Taq and Tawke — that were largely neglected until 2004. (There's also the supergiant oil field in Kirkuk, although that city is subject to dispute between Kurds and other ethnic groups in Iraq.) In recent years, however, foreign investors have swooped into Kurdistan, attracted by the region's vast reserves and its relative stability.

Those investments were just starting to pay off. By June of this year, Iraqi Kurdistan was producing 360,000 barrels per day — about 10 percent of Iraq's production (and about 0.5 percent of the world's supply). And much more was expected. In a 2009 State Department cable leaked by Wikileaks, one foreign firm said Kurdistan "has the potential to be a world-class hydrocarbon region."

Yet ISIS posed a (partial) threat to that boom when they showed up on the outskirts of Erbil, a city of 1.5 million that is hosting many of the oil and gas firms in the Kurdish region. On August 8, Reuters reported that some 5,000 barrels per day had gone offline in Kurdistan as a result of the fighting. Various oil firms, including Chevron, said they would withdraw some non-essential personnel from the region.

So far, the disruptions have been relatively minor, particularly since the US has launched airstrikes against ISIS that allowed the Kurdish military to retake a number of towns. The Kurdish regional government now insists that "oil production in the region remains unaffected."

ISIS, for its part, clearly has an interest in seizing oil fields. The group reportedly controls seven oil fields and two refineries in northern Iraq, as well as a portion of a pipeline running from Kirkuk to the port city of Ceyhan in Turkey. Reports have suggested that ISIS is now selling some 10,000 barrels of oil per day to fund its activities.

It's also worth noting that the vast majority of Iraq's crude production has so far been unaffected. The map below shows Iraq's oil infrastructure. If you compare with the map above, you'll notice that ISIS isn't close to any of the massive oil fields in the southern regions of Iraq, which produce 75 percent of the country's crude. And it's not close to the big Kurdish oil fields of Tawke or Taq Taq:

Iraq's oil infrastructure

Still, many oil watchers had been counting on Iraq to boost production in the years ahead to help supply the world's ever-growing demand. The ongoing violence makes those prospects considerably more uncertain.

2) The US won't let Kurdistan sell its oil directly — a source of contention

In theory, all oil sales in Iraq are supposed to be handled by the central government in Baghdad, which then splits revenues among the various regions according to an existing agreement.

Recently, however, Iraqi Kurdistan has been pushing to sell more of its own oil directly to other countries, bypassing the central government entirely. Why is that? Kurdish officials claim that the central government hasn't been sending Kurdistan its promised 17 percent share of oil revenue.

By some estimates, roughly one-third of Kurdistan's oil is now sold directly by the Kurds — typically at a steep discount. Many of those sales are facilitated by neighboring Turkey. (A recent report from the Congressional Research Service argued that Turkey is doing so to maintain good relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, partly out of a desire to mitigate the long-running conflict with its own Kurdish community.)

The United States, for its part, is officially opposed to Kurdistan's direct sales of oil abroad. The way they see it, these moves undermine the unity of the Iraqi government, are steps toward de facto Kurdish independence, and threaten to tear the country further apart. "Iraq's energy resources belong to all of the Iraqi people," tweeted Brett McGurk, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs on July 30.

The stand-off is becoming increasingly intricate. There's currently an oil tanker filled with about 1 million barrels of Kurdish oil parked about 50 miles off Houston that can't unload its crude. The Washington Post reported that State Department officials have been quietly warning any potential buyers of the Kurdish oil that they could face "serious legal risks."

Meanwhile, there's growing pressure on the Obama administration to allow direct sales — particularly now that the Kurds are under siege from ISIS and the central government is refusing to send oil funds. In Congress, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called on the administration to change its stance: "if the Iraqi government does not resume the financial support owed to the Kurds, we should end our resistance to the direct sale of Kurdish oil."

3) Oil is also a major factor in the simmering debate over who controls Kirkuk

To make things even more complicated, there's also a long-standing debate within Iraq over who controls Kirkuk, a city of some 400,000 people that sits on the border between the Kurdish region and the rest of Iraq. Kirkuk also sits next to a "supergiant" oil field containing an estimated 10 billion barrels of crude.

"There's a longstanding dispute over who has claim to Kirkuk"

The debates over Kirkuk itself have been going on for more than a century. The city has long been inhabited by Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, and Arabs, each with a historical claim on the region. (The Kurds argue that Kirkuk has been their rightful capital since the 18th century.)

But the discovery of oil near Kirkuk in the 1920s raised the stakes considerably. Back in the 1970s, the Kurds declared formal claims on Kirkuk's massive oil fields. The Iraqi government saw that as an act of war and responded with a policy of "Arabization" — as Human Rights Watch detailed, the government expelled hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Assyrians from the city and resettled Arab families there.

Since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the reverse has happened. Thousands of internally displaced Kurds have returned to Kirkuk, raising new questions over who should control the city. A referendum on whether Kirkuk should be part of Kurdistan has been periodically raised and delayed since 2007. Suffice to say, Iraq's central government isn't ready to hand Kirkuk over.

The dispute took another sharp step forward this summer. As ISIS was expanding control over Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga forces took control of Kirkuk in mid-June, claiming that they needed to fill a "security vacuum." And, in July, the Kurds began pumping oil from Kirkuk's oil fields — also in defiance of Iraq's central government — giving the Kurds de facto control over not just the oil but the city itself. It's still unclear how this will all play out, but it's another potentially violent source of contention fueled by oil.

The conflict has been a boon to Iraq's Kurds — but that might be changing

Kurds are mostly Sunnis, but they're ethnically distinct from Iraqi Arabs. They control a swath of northeast Iraq where a lot of the oil fields lie, and are something of a wild card in the conflict between the Iraqi government and ISIS. For most of the fighting, they've come out ahead. "This crisis is a lifeline for the Kurds," Iraqi politics expert Kirk Sowell said in June. But that was June. In August, ISIS launched its first successful push into Kurdish territory, which could dramatically change the conflict's impact on Kurds.

Iraqi_kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan in Iraq is governed semi-autonomously. The Kurdish security forces are partly integrated with the government, but there's somewhere between 80,000 and 240,000 Kurdish peshmerga (militias) who don't answer to Baghdad. They're well equipped and trained, and represent a serious military threat to ISIS.

You'll notice that Mosul is inside the dotted lines of territory under defacto Kurdish control. There, and in many other places, Iraqi Kurdistan borders ISIS-controlled territory — but in August ISIS began pushing into that territory, and may have seized a major dam in Mosul.

For the most of the conflict before August, there hadn't been major fighting between the Kurds and ISIS. The Kurds took advantage of the chaos to occupy Kirkuk, a city near massive oil deposits that they've wanted for some time. That means the crisis has been, in a strange way, a boon to the Kurds.

But that might be changing. In early August, ISIS made a major push into Iraqi Kurdish territory. By August 7th, they had occupied several strategically valuable towns and were "minutes" from the Kurdish capital Erbil, where a number of American advisors are based, according to McClatchy.

If ISIS can maintain its gains in Kurdistan, then the strategic benefits to the Kurds could disappear rapidly — to say nothing of the human costs of being pulled into a war with ISIS.

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/11/5988377/kurdistan-oil
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:56 pm

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TAQA suspends operations at the Atrush Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, has suspended its operations at the Atrush Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

As a result of recent developments and escalating instability around the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, TAQA has suspended operations at the Atrush Block and, as a precautionary measure, significantly reduced staffing levels.

TAQA continues to closely monitor the security situation with its Atrush partners and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The safety and security of the Company's staff and contractors are of paramount importance.

TAQA remains committed to the development of the Atrush Block and expects to start production in 2015.

http://www.oilvoice.com/n/TAQA_suspends ... d906e.aspx
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:58 pm

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Petroceltic International provides an update on operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Petroceltic International plc (PCI.L) provides the following update with respect to its operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

In conjunction with Hess Middle East New Ventures our partner and the operator of our exploration activities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq we have been closely monitoring recent events in the region. While these developments have not directly impacted our exploration activities to date, in line with other operators in the region, it has been decided, as a precautionary measure, to temporarily secure and suspend operations (including the drilling of Shireen-1 exploration

http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Petroceltic_I ... f8756.aspx
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:00 pm

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Oryx Petroleum announces update for operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Oryx Petroleum Corporation Limited announces an update for its operations in the Hawler license area of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq ("Kurdistan Region"). The Group has implemented a number of precautionary measures to protect its employees and operations given recent security developments in northern Iraq.

In the western portion of the Hawler license area, drilling operations at the Ain Al Safra and Banan sites have been temporarily suspended, both sites secured and non-essential personnel relocated to Erbil given the proximity of such locations to recently reported hostilities in northern Iraq.

In the central portion of the Hawler license area, drilling operations and facilities construction at the Demir Dagh field remain secure and operational but continue at reduced levels primarily due to the departure of certain third-party service company personnel from the site. Production from the Demir Dagh field has also been shut-in.

The Group continues to closely monitor the situation in co-ordination with relevant authorities in the Kurdistan Region and will return to full operating levels when the situation has stabilised.

http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Oryx_Petroleu ... f1a54.aspx
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