The Oil & Gas Year Kurdistan Region of Iraq 2016


Following an extensive round of relinquishments and block boundary changes, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and its Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) are now ready to embark on the next chapter in the evolution of the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas industry. With a bidding round in the works for the entirety of its open acreage, the authorities hope to attract new investment to the region in 2017.

When the Islamic State (IS) conflict began in the second half of 2014, it did so at a time when many of the explorers in the Kurdistan Region were about to shift their operations from exploration to production, and some operators found themselves in dangerous proximity to known IS attack zones. As low oil prices, the collapse of the revenue-sharing agreement with the federal government and the care of more than 1 million internally displaced people combined with the costly fight against IS began to impact the KRG’s ability to meet its fiscal obligations, the appeal of this once promising oil and gas frontier was beginning to fade. 

The international oil companies active in the region were forced to buckle down and soldier on. Many of them had to defer their previously stated, multi-digit production targets, while others saw their stock value evaporate on account of lower-than-expected reserves figures that did little to inspire investor confidence in the Kurdistan Region.

And yet, away from the spotlight, progress was being made. Companies such as Addax, DNO, Genel Energy, Gazprom, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, HKN, KAR Group, Maersk Oil NewAge and Oryx Petroleum all continued to produce and/or readied their assets for production. They will be joined by TAQA and its partners when the Atrush field comes on line in early 2017.

The story that emerges from the redrawn MNR Kurdistan Region of Iraq blocks map, prepared by the MNR and TOGY exclusively for use in Oil & Gas Year Kurdistan Region of Iraq 2016 and on TOGYiN, is that of a leaner, more-engaged industry that is poised to make a renewed push for production growth. By the end of 2017, gross output capacity could hit 700,000 bopd, putting the industry back on track to potentially achieve 1 million bopd by the end of the decade.

The resource also shows that there is now a clearer focus on the Kurdistan Region’s potential for both the existing operators and new entrants. The open acreage is spread across 20 newly delineated blocks, most of them complete with seismic data, wells and proven commercial production potential.

The Oil & Gas Year Kurdistan Region of Iraq 2016 also places a clear emphasis on the KRG’s drive to monetise the region’s gas resources and gear up for exports to Turkey and onwards to Europe in the near future. In close co-operation with Minister of Natural Resources Dr Ashti Hawrami and officials at the MNR, TOGY prepared a detailed map of the Kurdistan Region’s gas assets and possible infrastructure. This world-exclusive resources highlights, among other elements, the associated gas producers, gas discoveries under development planning and oil discoveries with associated gas for consumption or export. 



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