Norway's DNO doubles stake in Iraqi Kurdistan concession

Company to pay $15m for ExxonMobil's 32% stake in the Baeshiqa field

Norwegian energy company DNO has received the approval of the Kurdish Regional Government to double its stake in the Baeshiqa concession in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The company will buy ExxonMobil's remaining 32 per cent stake in the concession, boosting its share to 64 per cent.

The Norwegian operator bought its first stake from the US energy company in 2018. DNO, which has covered ExxonMobil's exploration costs since January 2019, will pay $15 million for the stake.

"Commerciality has been declared on the licence, with plans submitted for fast-track development, including early production from previously drilled but suspended wells," the company said.

"This acquisition and plans for fast-track development underscore our belief in the potential of the Baeshiqa licence and, more broadly, our long-term commitment to Kurdistan,” said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO's executive chairman.

“Once we get the green light from the authorities to proceed, [the] first production will be a matter of months rather than years.”

Baeshiqa-2, DNO's first discovery well, has a flow rate of more than 3,000 barrels per day of light gravity oil while the other drilled well, Zartik-1, averages 1,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of crude with similar properties.

DNO has proved the concession is commercial, transporting 15,000 barrels of oil for export in 2019 and 2020 from the Baeshiqa-2 and Zartik-1 wells.

The remaining stakes in the Baeshiqa concession are held by the Kurdistan Regional Government and Turkey's TEC.

In July, Iraq's Cabinet approved a bid by French energy company TotalEnergies to develop the country's Ratawi natural gasfield. The company plans to capture and process about 600 million cubic feet per day of gas, the state-run Iraqi News Agency said.

Iraq's State Organisation for Marketing of Oil, better known as Somo, received $33 billion in revenue in the first half of the year from crude sales, at a rate of about $5.5bn a month.

The Iraqi state earned revenue from the sales of Basra light, medium, and heavy oil, as well as crude exported through the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Updated: August 3rd 2021, 5:58 AM