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Issue 983 - 11 December 2014

KRG Back to business

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Operators such as Genel Energy (Genel) and Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), two of the main oil production and export companies in Iraqi Kurdistan, will have viewed the Baghdad-Erbil deal as good for business; shares in both companies were briefly lifted by the deal’s announcement and, as the deal was being made, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) followed through on its November promise to make an initial payment of $75m to producers for exports.

Iraq
Free

It may finally be crunch time in Iraq for ExxonMobil, which in late 2011 led the charge north when it became the first major to sign a contract for exploration blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan. After months of back and forth, and meetings between chairman Rex Tillerson and (separately) Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Kurdish Prime Minister Massoud Barzani on 21 and 22 January, Exxon has apparently been told to decide once and for all between its 60% stake in the $50bn West Qurna 1 project in the south and its production-sharing agreements in blocks still being explored in Iraqi Kurdistan (Al Qush, Arbat East, Baeshiqa, Betwata, Pirmam and Qara Hanjeer).

Iraq
Issue 932 - 27 September 2012

Egypt looks to import Qatari LNG

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Building on the spirit of enhanced co-operation, Egypt is considering importing liquified natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA).

Qatar
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Only BP and Chinese partner CNPC were prepared to go ahead with Hussein Shahristani licensing round terms. Mission accomplished for the harassed oil minister, if not for his IOC suitors.

Iraq
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Saudi Aramco has been setting a fast deal-making pace in recent weeks, as the state oil giant continues to make preparations for its controversial stock market listing.On 20 May, Saudi Aramco announced up to $30bn of investment into Motiva Enterprises, the US refinery operation in Port Arthur, Texas which it recently acquired full control of. The investment includes $12bn now and up to $18bn more by 2023.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1026 - 17 November 2016

Bahrain: Eni signs exploration deals

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Italian major Eni has signed four agreements with Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) and Tatweer Petroleum to study and assess the potential of a number of onshore and offshore exploration and production assets in the country. The deals were signed by Eni head Claudio Descalzi on a visit to Bahrain on 6 November.

Bahrain
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National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has been finalising further deals with international oil companies (IOCs), in the wake of its successful signing on 3 July of a $4.8bn, 20-year deal for Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field with French major Total and China National Petroleum Corporation. The Phase 11 project is the first to be signed under the new International Petroleum Contract (IPC). It provides a potentially useful springboard to convince other oil majors to commit to projects in the Islamic Republic.

Iran
Free

Most of the 12 blocks on offer in Iraq’s reworked and delayed fourth licensing round attracted no bidders, but of the three that did, two had a high level of security risk

Iraq
Issue 969 - 13 May 2014

Qatar: Tender for mega-reservoirs

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Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has invited bids from local and international companies seeking to build five new mega reservoirs and associated pumping station packages. The tender – which will close on 5 June – is for five separate packages for material supply, construction, testing and commissioning for sites at Umm Birka, Umm Slal, Al Thumama, Rawdhat Rashid and Abu Nakhla. The reservoirs and pipeline network, scheduled to be completed by 2017, will be capable of storing 15m metres cubed of potable water, one of the biggest water security projects in the world.

Qatar
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There appears to be confusion between Baghdad and Erbil over the status of ExxonMobil’s contract with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)(GSN 915/14, 913/9). On 16 March, Reuters ran a story quoting Iraqi oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi as saying: “We received a letter from Exxon on 5 March saying they are freezing the contract with the Kurds.”

Iraq
Issue 1032 - 24 February 2017

Tehran insists new contract will go ahead

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National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has been forced to deny claims that Tehran has abandoned plans for its much-delayed and much-vaunted Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC). The local Tasnim News Agency reported on 14 February that MP, and member of parliament’s energy commission, Hedayatollah Khademi had said “the new model of oil contracts has been shelved” due to flaws in the proposed contract model and that “no contract has been signed under these new models.” However, NIOC chief executive Ali Kardor has insisted the IPC is still moving ahead, attributing the delays to the “high sensitivity” of the issues involved.

Iran
Issue 1021 - 09 September 2016

UAE: Abu Dhabi takes first LNG imports

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A 500 mcf/d floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) chartered from US-based Excelerate Energy was delivered to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in August, in a move to ensure gas-to-power supply by state utility Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (Adwec) during the peak summer season for electricity demand. The UAE’s second LNG import facility was moored off Ruwais, after it was filled at the Das Island plant operated by Adnoc’s Adgas subsidiary – which for years had sought not to divert LNG cargoes to meet domestic demand.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has approached contractors in search of cost reductions between 10% and 20% on major upstream development contracts, Upstream reported. New director-general Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber – the UAE minister of state appointed to head Adnoc in mid-February – has ordered a review of major developments, seeking further cost reductions. The industry newspaper reported sources at four major contractors had received letters from Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) and other Adnoc units demanding cost reductions from signed contracts.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Buoyed by a reversal of the long-term declining trend in crude production, and looking to build gas reserves, Oman is offering opportunities for IOCs of all sizes, reflected in its current offer of five exploration blocks. These are shown below in GSN’s first Oman upstream update – a feature we plan to develop in future months, with regular updates and more information as our database builds. Oman provides a good place to start,

Oman
Issue 1075 - 23 February 2019

Iran: Refinery expansion unveiled

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President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the third phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the port city of Bandar Abbas on 18 February, providing additional output of 12m litres a day (ltrs/d) of Euro-5 grade petrol and taking total production of the fuel at the site to 45m ltrs/d. The refinery – which also produces around 12.5m ltrs/d.of gas oil, 3m ltrs/d. of liquified gas and 2m ltrs/d. of jet fuel – has been developed by Khatam Al-Anbia Construction Base, a conglomerate with extensive interests and closely linked to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Iran