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Kurdistan poised for bumper gas growth after settlement

Filed on September 5, 2017
Kurdistan poised for bumper gas growth after settlement
Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Natural Resources of Kurdistan, and Majid Jafar after signing the settlement.

(Supplied photo)

Developers are now looking to unlock the full potential of the region's large resources

Iraq's Kurdistan is poised for a major increase in gas output following the settlement of a court case with developers who are now looking to unlock the full potential of the region's large resources, investor Dana Gas told Reuters.

The semi-autonomous region settled a case with the Pearl Consortium last week by paying $1 billion to its members - Dana, Dana's biggest shareholder Crescent Petroleum, Austria's OMV, Hungary's MOL and Germany's RWE.

The consortium has a 10-year-old deal with Kurdistan's government to develop the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields - one of the largest gas deposits in Iraq, with reserves of 17 trillion cubic feet - enough to supply the whole of Europe for one year - and estimated resources of as much as 75 trillion.

Pearl had been claiming against the government of Kurdistan for underpaying for gas liquids production, as well as delays to field development, but reached the settlement after the long-running case in London.

Majid Jafar, managing director of the board of UAE-based Dana Gas, told Reuters the consortium would more than double its output levels from the fields as part of the settlement.

Production will be raised from the current 330 million cubic feet a day to 800 million, or eight billion cubic metres a year, he said. That volume would be enough to supply the annual gas needs of a country the size of Austria.

That increase, to be completed within two years, could be just the beginning, according to Jafar, who is also the chief executive of Crescent Petroleum.

"This is only the next phase. These fields could potentially produce several times more," he said.

He said with the addition of new blocks and with fresh exploration, reserves could rise three to five times from the current 17 trillion cubic feet, while production could rise as high as 5 to 6 billion cubic feet a day.

"We have the obligation to maximise the value of resources for Kurdistan and Iraq. We first and foremost need to meet local demand. But there are enough reserves for exports as well," he added. - Reuters


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