Gulf Keystone, operator of the Shaikan Field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, provides an operational and corporate update.
· Agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government's ("KRG") Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") and MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc ("MOL") has been reached in relation to the investment plans to increase gross production capacity to 55,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") in the next 12 to 18 months.
· Gulf Keystone has initiated contracting and procurement activities to implement the 2018 approved capital expenditure of approximately $91 million gross ($73 million net to GKP), which includes workovers in existing wells (electric submersible pumps ("ESPs") and tubing replacements), drilling of a new well, facilities improvement and plant debottlenecking.
· The remainder of the required capital expenditure which is currently estimated to be between $175 million to $215 million gross (as previously set out in the 2017 Full Year Results) to achieve 55,000 bopd gross production capacity is expected to be part of the 2019 investment plan (which will also include activities related to the further development of the field).
· The Company continues to work on the revised Field Development Plan, which is expected to be submitted to the MNR in Q3 2018. The Company will provide an update on the details of the investment plans for the 75,000 bopd and up to 110,000 bopd phases when finalised.
· Safety performance remains strong with over 3 million man hours without a lost-time incident achieved since 2015.
· Plant uptime between 1 January 2018 and 31 May 2018 has been outstanding at over 99%, leading to an average gross production of 32,138 bopd for the period, just above the upper end of our 27,000-32,000 bopd guidance for 2018. Full-year guidance for 2018 remains unchanged.
· A major milestone has been achieved with cumulative production from the Shaikan Field reaching 50 million barrels. As a result, in line with the terms of the Shaikan Production Sharing Contract ("Shaikan PSC") and our previous disclosure, a production bonus in the amount of $20 million ($16 million net to GKP) is now payable to the KRG.
· Hook-up of the 400m spur pipeline from Production Facility 2 to the Atrush export line is in its final stage and expected to be operational shortly. This will eliminate trucking requirements for a significant share of Shaikan production which will reduce HSE exposure and is expected to improve netbacks to the Company. Pipeline tie-in of Production Facility 1 will be part of the 2019 investment plan.
· Payments from the KRG have been received on a regular basis throughout the year. The Company has received gross payments of $136.7 million ($107.3 million net to GKP) year to date.
· The Company had cash amounting to $222 million as at 21 June 2018.
· The Company continues its dialogue with the MNR and MOL in order to achieve further contractual and commercial clarity in relation to amendments of the Shaikan PSC which it anticipates being concluded in Q3 2018.
Commenting, J?n Ferrier, CEO, said:
"We are very pleased with the progress we have made in recent months on key commercial and operational matters and are delighted that Gulf Keystone is now back to investment mode, with the objective of achieving 55,000 bopd production capacity in the next 12 to 18 months; an important step towards the development of the full potential of the Shaikan field."