Dana and Keystone to boost oil and gas investment in Kurdistan

A flame rises in the Taq Taq oilfield in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. (Reuters)
Updated 10 September 2018
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Dana and Keystone to boost oil and gas investment in Kurdistan

  • Rising oil price improves payments and output
  • Iran sanctions drives oil price higher

LONDON: The Kurdistan region of Iraq is set to attract increased investment from international oil and gas companies as the improving price of crude boosts sentiment.
Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas said it would raise gas production after Pearl Petroleum, in which it has a 35 percent stake, received its latest payment from the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Britain’s Gulf Keystone Petroleum also said it was resuming spending on the Shaikan oilfield in the region as it reported record profit for the first half.
The price of oil has been rising steadily as the US reintroduces sanctions against Iran, a major global crude suppliers. Crude prices have tripled since the 2016 trough of the market.
The prospect of a stronger price is encouraging oil and gas companies to revive spending in the sector.
“The resurgence in oil prices also played a role in the global investment community becoming increasingly positive on the prospects for the oil and gas sector,” Keystone said in a statement.
Dana Gas has been beset by payment problems in Kurdistan but has been encouraged to look at expanding operations after receiving its latest payments through Pearl Petroleum.
Dana said yesterday that Pearl Petroleum had received $21.6 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government in September — taking total collections to $211 million — or $74 million for Dana’s share of the proceeds. It means that all payments are now up to date.
“The continued arrival of these payments on time provides both us and our partners with the confidence to push forward aggressively with our expansion plans,” said Dana Gas CEO Patrick Allman-Ward.
Gulf Keystone also said that it had continued to receive regular payments since Sept. 1, 2015.
Oil prices gained on Monday as US drilling slowed and the market remained watchful of the impact of Iranian sanctions on global crude supplies.
Brent crude oil jumped more than a dollar or 1.4 percent, to a high of $77.92, before paring gains to about $77.60 by early afternoon in London


Saudi Aramco boss reveals gas and LNG ambitions amid petchems push

Updated 22 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco boss reveals gas and LNG ambitions amid petchems push

  • Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser: We are in discussions in different countries with a lot of partners. We are reviewing these opportunities to make final decisions in terms of investment
  • Amin Nasser: A lot of it is in partnerships with leading companies around the world and it is either in gas investment, LNG investment or both

London: Saudi Aramco is eyeing gas and LNG acquisitions as it also prepares for the potential purchase of the Kingdom’s biggest chemical maker, CEO Amin Nasser revealed on Tuesday.

He made the disclosure in an interview with Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We are in discussions in different countries currently with a lot of partners. We are reviewing these opportunities to make final decisions in terms of investment,” Nasser said.

“A lot of it is in partnerships with leading companies around the world and it is either in gas investment, LNG investment or both.”

Aramco has also been in discussions with a credit rating agency ahead of a planned bond sale.

It comes ahead of the potential purchase of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the Kingdom’s biggest chemical maker and a key part of Aramco’s ambitions to grow its global petrochemicals business.

“We will decide soon how much we would like to take from the bond market. Definitely it is going to be an international bond. We are currently in discussion with regard to how much and where,” Nasser said.

He said that the purchase price for SABIC was still under discussion.

“We are in discussion currently with the Public Investment Fund about acquisition of 70 percent of the share of SABIC. We are in discussion with regard to the price at this stage,” he said.

Earlier this month Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Aramco would issue bonds in the second quarter of 2019.

Aramco’s planned acquisition of SABIC is expected to involve buying all or nearly all of the 70 percent stake in the chemicals company held by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Kingdom’s principal sovereign wealth fund.

Nasser said that there was no plan to acquire the 30 percent of the company that is currently publicly traded in Saudi Arabia.