Kurdish oil player sees steady production course ahead

Production from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq remains at the high-end of expectations for the year, a company said.

img_3761

Gulf Keystone Petroleum operates the Shaikan oil field in the Kurdish northern Iraq. The company said Monday it was notified by the government of a gross payment of $15 million for oil exported from the field in April.

Gulf Keystone reported total average gross production for 2016 at 34,794 barrels of oil per day, at the upper range of its guidance for the year. The company said the field is performing as expected as output should average about 36,671 barrels of oil per day for the first half of the year. The company said it expects gross production for the year to average around 38,000 bpd.
“Safe and reliable operations remain a strategic priority and we continue to be strongly encouraged by the stable performance of the Shaikan Field during 2017,” CEO Jón Ferrier said in a statement.

The full-year average outlined Monday is lower than the company outlined in April, when it said it had the funding necessary to move regional production to 40,000 bpd and could potentially hit 55,000 bpd in northern Iraq.

The company offered no explanation for what appeared to be a change in production guidance. Crude oil prices, which in part support exploration and production activities, are about 2.5 percent less than the average for the first week in April.

Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and agreed to cut about 210,000 bpd from its production under the terms of a managed decline agreement. The central government in Baghdad said in the past the semiautonomous Kurdish government wasn’t contributing to the arrangement.

A referendum for Kurdish independence from Iraq is set for Sept. 25. Oil is exported north to Turkish ports.
By Daniel J. Graeber