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


Nestle confirms guidance as third-quarter growth ticks up

Updated 18 October 2018
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Nestle confirms guidance as third-quarter growth ticks up

  • Packaged food companies are struggling to adjust to consumers’ growing appetite for fresh, local foods
  • Nestle’s organic sales, which strip out currency swings and acquisitions, rose 2.9 percent in the third quarter

ZURICH: Food group Nestle confirmed it wants to grow sales by around 3 percent this year after it reported on Thursday improved trading in North America and infant nutrition had pushed up underlying sales in the third quarter.
Packaged food companies are struggling to adjust to consumers’ growing appetite for fresh, local foods, and Nestle and its peers are trying to boost performance by cutting costs, shedding underperformers and diversifying into premium and health foods.
“We are starting to see improved momentum in North America and in our infant nutrition category globally. Our business in China continued to grow at a mid-single digit pace,” Chief Executive Mark Schneider said in a statement on Thursday.
Nestle’s organic sales, which strip out currency swings and acquisitions, rose 2.9 percent in the third quarter, in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll. They were up 2.8 percent in the first nine months.
The maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafe instant coffee also announced that Wan Ling Martello, currently head of the company’s zone Asia Oceania Sub-Saharan Africa (AOA), was leaving the company and would be replaced by Chris Johnson, currently head of group human resources and business services, on January 1.
Martello, who was chief financial officer before taking over zone AOA, was among the potential candidates to take over the CEO role at Nestle before company outsider Mark Schneider was appointed two years ago.
Peer Danone said on Wednesday that slacker demand for baby food in China and a consumer boycott in Morocco slowed third-quarter sales growth.