Between the ongoing ‘oil war’ and Covid-19 pandemic, economies across the Middle East are on high alert. And as MEES noted last week, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is amongst the most exposed to lower prices (MEES, 13 March). The pain, at least in the near-500,000 b/d oil sector, is already being felt.

Norwegian independent DNO on 18 March announced a 30% ($300mn) cut to its 2020 spending to “shore up its balance sheet in the face of unprecedented market convulsions.” The $340mn of planned KRG capex (over half the DNO total) will take a massive hit. By the end of this month, DNO’s KRG rig count will fall from six to two (including one workover rig) with “most discretionary drilling and capital projects” suspended. The firm will “focus… on key projects in its core operating area in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.” (CONTINUED - 1078 WORDS)