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Financial pressures and the downgrading of reserves at the key Taq Taq export field have dealt an enormous blow to the KRG’s crude export plans. New production is set to come online in 2016 but only incremental gains are likely, and will be less than the 150,000 b/d of Kirkuk oil currently denied the region.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) realized significant production gains in 2015, from 313,000 b/d to 577,000 b/d, but with geological and political risks taking their toll, anything like a repeat this year is highly unlikely.
Anglo-Turkish Genel’s 48% cut to 2P reserve estimates at its key Taq Taq field earlier this month was a hammer blow to the region. Rather than being at the forefront of efforts to ramp up production, Genel’s latest projections have the field producing below 2014 levels this year (MEES, 4 March). And even those projections depend on investments that could yet be threatened by payment concerns: even before the latest downgrade, output had fallen from a May 2015 peak of 186,000 b/d to 83,500 b/d in January. Lack of investment means output at the region’s other key producer, DNO-operated Tawke, is also down, from 150,000 b/d in November to 120,760 b/d in January, and just 73,120 b/d in February with the closure of the region’s key export pipeline.
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