Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Kuwait Energy Optimistic About Oil And Gas Opportunities In Iraq And Egypt

Wednesday, October 05, 2011
AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota
Kuwait Energy is one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas companies in the Middle East, operating in eight countries in the MENA and Eurasia regions.

The interview discussed a broad spectrum of topics including the latest developments on the Mansuriya and Siba gas fields in Iraq,Kuwait Energy's approach towards infrastructure, security and resourcing challenges facingindustry operators in Iraq, itsexpectations from Iraq's fourth bidding round which takes place early next year, and the Company's recent hydrocarbons discoveries in Egypt.

Last June, Kuwait Energy signed the development contracts forthe Siba and Mansuriya gas fields in Iraq, with Joint Management Committees (JMC) formed for both fields shortly after. The company and its partners were awarded 20-year term gas development contracts for these two fields in Iraq's third bidding round held in October 2010.

"The first meeting of the Siba JMC has taken place, where the interim work program and budget were presented. As for Mansuriya, the first JMC meeting is expected to be held in October 2011. This marks the beginning of a long-term partnership with Iraq, and a step forward in Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations. We are very excited to start participating in the development of the country's natural gas resources. The gas will be utilized to generate power in Baghdad and Basra, providing the Iraqi Government with cost savings, an environmentally friendlier fuel and the opportunity to better serve its people as per its overall plan,"said Mr. Aboush.

A challenge for Kuwait Energy is the availability of local, technically proficient talent. With two bidding rounds previously completed in Iraq, Iraqi skilled professionals in the industry have now become rarer.

"That won't stop us from looking," said Mr. Aboush. "Our aim is to have an Iraqi team comprising Iraqi nationals, working on Iraqi wells. We have already filled some key positions and are very optimistic about finding the right talent. We are always looking for talented and skilled industry professionals to join our team in Iraq and across all our countries of operations as well."

Iraq today still has national problems to addresssuch as a lack of gas infrastructure and other security concerns, making it difficult for foreign companies to invest in the country.

Mr. Aboush said: "We are actually part of the solution to the gas infrastructure problem. Kuwait Energy is responsible for building gas processing facilities in line with the Gas Development and Production Service Contract (GDPSC) requirements signed with the Iraqi government. We are very optimistic about this."

On matters of security, Mr. Aboush said: "On-ground security situation in Iraq is improving dramatically day-by-day, especially in Basra and surrounding areas. Having said that, the security situation is not optimal yet, but we are confident that the situation will continue to improve, thanks to the efforts of the national and local governments. On our part, we undertook a full safety evaluation as part of the Company's due diligence for bids. The security and safety of our team security and the communities we are part of is very important for us in Iraq, and across all our areas of operation.

Mr. Aboush then commented on the fourth bidding round by the Ministry of Oil in Iraq. He said: "Kuwait Energy is very positive about the concept of expanding its Iraqi operations further and has recently completed its road show activity for the fourth bidding round. The Company is now forming its opinion on the specific blocks offered."

Meanwhile, Kuwait Energy recently announced it has discovered hydrocarbons in Egypt, in the GPZZ-4 and Al Ahmadi-1 wells located in its Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert.

"Tests are still ongoing on both wells," said Mr. Aboush. "These two discoveries bring the total number of discoveries we've made in Egypt to 13, reflecting Kuwait Energy's commitment to contributing to Egypt's hydrocarbons industry. We have had continued success in structuring a well-diversified portfolio in Egypt with assets from different classes, ranging from frontier exploration to brown field acreage."

Mr. Aboush will participate with other high level speakers in the Iraq 2011: Future Energy forum and discuss and debate over four days the opportunities and challenges faced by those operating and investing in one of the world's most challenging, yet lucrative, markets, Iraq.

When asked about the significance of Iraq 2011: Future Energy, Mr. Aboush replied: "This is a greatopportunity for the oil and gas industry players to discuss and share their views on energy investments, regulations, the development of infrastructure and technology, all with the aim of building a better Iraq."

Organized by The Energy Exchange, Iraq 2011: Future Energy will take place from the 26-29 of September 2011, at the Elite World Istanbul Hotel in Turkey.

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