x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

DNO International’s crude output hits record for second straight quarter

DNO International, the Kurdistan oil producer with UAE ownership, boosted output by a third to 52,780 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the quarter ending in September.

The Saleh oil field in Ras Al Khaimah. DNO International is operating on this oil field. Pawan Singh / The National
The Saleh oil field in Ras Al Khaimah. DNO International is operating on this oil field. Pawan Singh / The National

DNO International, a Kurdistan-focused oil producer with UAE-based ownership, pumped record levels of crude for the second-straight quarter, it said yesterday.

The Oslo-based exploration firm – which has operations in Yemen, Oman and Ras Al Khaimah – boosted output by a third to 52,780 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the quarter ending in September. It pumped 38,720 barrels in the previous quarter.

“We are pleased to have delivered record production in the quarter,” said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, the chairman of DNO, which has its regional base in Dubai.

“The excellent results from our horizontal drilling programme at the Tawke field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq during the third quarter will continue to move the needle for the company in terms of the field’s production performance and ultimate recovery potential.”

Third-quarter profit reached 282 million Norwegian kroner (Dh167m), up from 280m kroner in the second quarter. Shares of the company, which is 42.8 per cent owned by RAK Petroleum, rose more than 5 per cent on the Oslo exchange to 19.81 kroner yesterday.

DNO recently broadened its portfolio to include Tunisia, where its subsidiary is drilling two exploration wells this year, and Somaliland, where it signed a production sharing agreement this year in the state that has yet to receive official recognition by many countries.

Its core production remains in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where it has three drilling rigs. This quarter, DNO fast-tracked a discovery at its Summail block to supply fuel for power generation to the nearby town of Dohuk, and also installed temporary production facilities at the site of two heavy-oil discoveries.

At its flagship Tawke field, the company aims to eventually raise capacity to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). That plan hinges on opening up more routes for export, such as a 300,000 bpd pipeline completed last month by its minority partner at Tawke, Genel Energy.

The pipeline, which connects Kurdish oil to Turkey, has exacerbated tensions between the regional government in Erbil and the federal government in Baghdad, which deems the Kurdish production-sharing contracts as illegal.

Exports through an existing tie-in to a federally-controlled pipeline to Turkey have been halted since December.

A third large-scale export option could become available following a deal signed this month between the Kurdish government and Turkey, which lays the groundwork for Turkey to become a transit hub for as much as 2 million bpd of oil and a customer of at least 10 billion cubic metres of gas. w

DNO was the first foreign company to move into the semi-autonomous region after the second Iraq war, and it has been followed by UAE companies such as Abu Dhabi National Energy, also known as Taqa, and Dana Gas, a Sharjah fuel producer.

ayee@thenational.ae