On the back of higher oil prices and regular payments from Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), foreign firms in the region are increasingly willing to reinvest. The results are beginning to show. Russia’s Gazprom Neft plans to drill a third well at its Sarqala field in Q3, wrapping up Phase-1 development which has seen output rise from 5,000 b/d in early 2017 to more than 21,000 b/d now; 30,000 b/d by early 2019 looks eminently achievable.

Canada’s Shamaran is also doubling down, last week agreeing to buy out US independent Marathon’s 15% interest in the Atrush field—taking its share to 35.1%. Meanwhile, Norway’s DNO, operator of the region’s largest IOC-operated field, Tawke, is set to double KRG spending this year as production at neighboring Peshkabir (within the Tawke license) ramps up toward 30,000 b/d (MEES, 23 February). (CONTINUED - 782 WORDS)