Genel confident on Iraqi Kurdistan oil payments despite tensions

In August, Genel and fellow oil producer DNO from Norway struck deals with the KRG to clear outstanding debt and restructure oil export payments. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2017
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Genel confident on Iraqi Kurdistan oil payments despite tensions

Genel Energy said it was confident the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq will continue meeting oil export payments despite tensions with the central government following the region’s independence referendum last month.
Genel, one of a handful of foreign oil producers in Iraqi Kurdistan, has seen its share price drop nearly a quarter since the September 25 vote for Kurdish independence from Iraq, which the central government and western powers have opposed.
Iraqi forces have since taken control of some of Kurdistan’s biggest oilfields and operations were interrupted for the first time on Wednesday when oil exports through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to Turkey more than halved.
However, Genel said on Thursday its own operations were continuing as normal and that it had not increased security at its sites.
“Our operations continue as usual, staff rotations continue, spare parts are coming in when needed. It’s very much business as usual,” Esa Ikaheimonen, Genel’s newly appointed chief financial officer, told Reuters.
He declined to comment on the status of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline.
Ikaheimonen said he was confident the KRG would continue meeting payments for oil exports. The payments are Genel’s main source of revenue for oil it produces at the Taq Taq and Tawke oilfields.
In August, Genel and fellow oil producer DNO from Norway struck deals with the KRG to clear outstanding debt and restructure oil export payments.
The companies have since received the first payments under the new structure.
“They’ve (been making payments) flawlessly for two years now and in addition to that they’ve also been extremely cooperative in finding solutions for the settling of problems,” he said.
“That gives us quite a lot of confidence that the desire is there and the commitment is there.”
A slight rise in oil prices, the KRG payments and ongoing revenue from production helped Genel to increase cashflow in the third quarter with unrestricted cash balances at $268 million at the end of September, up from $246 million three months earlier, the company said in a trading update published on Thursday.
This also enabled it to reduce net debt by 13 percent over the quarter to $138 million.
Average output stood at 33,810 barrels per day (bpd) in the quarter, compared with an average of 37,100 bpd in the first half of the year.
Shares in Genel were up 2 percent at 0758 GMT.
“Macro events are likely to remain the major driver of the stock in the near-term,” said analysts at Numis.


OECD warns of global economic slowdown

Updated 21 November 2018
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OECD warns of global economic slowdown

  • ‘We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system’
  • Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year

PARIS: The global economy has peaked and faces a slowdown driven by international trade tensions and tighter monetary conditions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Wednesday.
The OECD, which groups the top developed economies, said it had trimmed its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5 percent from the previous 3.7 percent.
The 2018 estimate was left unchanged at 3.7 percent.
For 2020, the global economy should grow 3.5 percent, it said in its latest Economic Outlook report.
“The shakier outlook in 2019 reflects deteriorating prospects, principally in emerging markets such as Turkey, Argentina and Brazil,” it said.
“The further slowdown in 2020 is more a reflection of developments in advanced economies as slower trade and lower fiscal and monetary support take their toll.”
OECD chief Angel Gurria highlighted problems caused by trade conflicts and political uncertainty — an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s stand-off with China which has roiled the markets.
“We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system,” Gurria said in a statement.
Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year, the Economic Outlook report said.
If Washington were to hike tariffs to 25 percent on all Chinese imports — as Trump has threatened to do — world economic growth could fall to close to three percent in 2020.
Growth rates would drop by an estimated 0.8 percent in the US and by 0.6 percent in China, it added.
For the moment, the OECD puts US economic growth at 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2019, unchanged from previous estimates, but trimmed China by 0.1 percentage point each to 6.6 percent and 6.3 percent.
It warned that “a much sharper slowdown in Chinese growth would damage global growth significantly, particularly if it were to hit financial market confidence.”
Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist, said “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”