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Kurdish Oil Player Buoyed by Payments

The oil rig site of Gulf Keystone in Sheikhan which has proven to be one of the largest oil fields in Iraq.
The oil rig site of Gulf Keystone in Sheikhan which has proven to be one of the oil fields in Iraq.

British oil company Gulf Keystone Petroleum said it was reassured about operations in the Kurdistan Region after receiving payments from the Kurdish government.

The company said it received a $15 million payment from the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government for exports of crude oil from the region’s Shaikan field.

“This October 2015 payment follows a similar payment in September 2015 and is in line with the statements made by the Kurdistan Regional Government in August and September 2015 regarding regular payments to the exporting international oil companies in the region,” the company said in a statement.

The company in July blamed “market constraints” for lower than expected production from its Kurdish assets.

Third-party assessments show proved reserves in the Shaikan reserve area at between 198 million to 306 million barrels, 55 percent more than originally estimated. Proved plus probable reserves increased by 114 percent to up to 639 million barrels. Production is expected to progress eventually from 40,000 barrels of oil per day to 100,000 bpd.

In August, the Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources pledged to issue regular payments to oil companies, recognizing their struggles to maintain normal operations during a depressed oil economy. The decision came after a Kurdish oil council approved the allocation of between $75 million and $100 million of the revenue generated from direct oil sales.

There were no statements on regular payment cycles offered by rival Kurdish players like British company Genel Energy and Norwegian operator DNO International.


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