September 12, 2021 | oil and gas

Gas expansion project is ‘return of trust’ to Kurdistan Region’s energy sector: researcher


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The expansion of a gas production agreement between oil and gas companies and the United States will bring back trust to the Kurdistan Region’s energy sector amid its financial woes and the withdrawal of big oil companies, a researcher told Rudaw on Wednesday.

“Some of the big companies like Exxon had gotten out because of the financial issues in the Kurdistan Region. This decreased some of the trust in the Kurdistan Region’s oil sector. This $250 million deal, which is from an agency of the American government to a company that works in the Kurdistan Region, will generally bring back trust to this sector,” Bilal Wahab, a researcher at the Washington Institute, told Rudaw.

The UAE-based Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum companies “signed a $250 million financing agreement with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (“DFC”) to support the gas expansion works currently under way at the Khor Mor gas plant in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI),” they announced on Wednesday.

The project is to be finished by April 2023, “that will result in resolving the electricity issue in the Kurdistan region to a good extent, and another point is the Kurdistan Region might be able to sell gas or electricity directly to southern Iraq which is another source of revenue, that’s why in that regard it’s good news for the economic sector in the Kurdistan Region,” added Wahab.

The Khor Mor field is jointly operated by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum on behalf of the Pearl Petroleum Consortium. They have been operating in the Kurdistan Region since the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) began producing oil and gas independently of Baghdad in 2007, and selling independently in 2013.

'We are confident that the gas expansion plans we have in place will enable 24-hour electricity in the Kurdistan Region … We have discovered, thanks to our investment, enough gas resources in the fields of Khor Mor and Chamchamal to meet the full needs of the Kurdistan Region, not only for electricity but to support local industry,' CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Managing Director of Dana Gas, Majid Jafar told Rudaw's Omar Moradi in an interview on June 13. The KRG has struggled with economic woes for many years and paying the oil companies operating in the Kurdistan Region. However, it has managed to pay the companies regular payments in recent months as the economic impact of COVID-19 lessens and oil prices increase.

In a press release in April, Dana Gas said it produces 440 million cubic feet per day and will invest further. The company also announced a nine percent natural gas production increase in the first quarter of 2021 in comparison to the same period last year.

In December, Dana Gas announced record high production in the Khor Mor plant, resuming expansion plans halted by coronavirus in March.

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