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


Workplace messaging startup Slack to list on Wall Street

Updated 26 April 2019
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Workplace messaging startup Slack to list on Wall Street

  • The direct listing will raise no cash for the California-based firm but will enable employees and early investors to sell their shares in the fast-growing tech firm
  • Slack, which has become a popular application for businesses looking to move away from email to real-time messaging, said it had some 10 million users at the end of January

WASHINGTON: The workplace messaging startup Slack filed documents Friday to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, the latest of a group of richly valued tech enterprises to look to Wall Street.
The “direct listing” will raise no cash for the California-based firm but will enable employees and early investors to sell their shares in the fast-growing tech firm.
Slack, which has become a popular application for businesses looking to move away from email to real-time messaging, said it had some 10 million users at the end of January.
That included 88,000 paying customers and 65 of the Fortune 100 firms.
“Our vision is to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive,” Slack said in its filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
“Slack is a new layer of the business technology stack that brings together people, applications, and data — a single place where people can effectively work together, access hundreds of thousands of critical applications and services, and find important information to do their best work.”
Slack, which has users in 150 countries, has raised more than $1 billion from investors with the latest round valuing the company at $7.1 billion, making it one of the most richly valued “unicorns” — startups with private funding worth at least $1 billion.
In its first release of financial data, Slack said it lost $141 million in the 12 months to January 31 on revenue of $400 million.
Created in 2013, Slack has been a leader in the new segment but faces competition from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and others offering workplace collaboration tools.
Analysts say Slack has found a niche, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses.
Its clients include software giant Oracle, the French luxury goods maker LVMH, Liberty Mutual insurance and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
It is available in eight languages and gets about one-third of its revenue from outside the United States.
Slack’s chief executive and founder Stewart Butterfield was part of the team that started the photo-sharing service Flickr.
The direct listing, which was also used by the streaming music giant Spotify, does not add fresh capital to the firm but enables free trading of shares while avoiding the underwriting costs of a public offering.
Slack will trade under the symbol “SK.”