A string of regular export payments from the Kurdish government in Iraq means the funds are there to start a drilling campaign, Norwegian company DNO said.
DNO said it was able to boost investments following steady Kurdish export payments and was ready now to start an active drilling campaign at the Tawke oil field in northern Iraq.
"We jump started investments at Tawke once Kurdistan provided regularity and predictability of payments," DNO's Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement.
The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government started independent oil sales in June. To date, DNO said it's received about $128 million for deliveries from the Tawke field.
DNO said it was able to reverse production declines at three existing wells in the area and add another 10,000 barrels of oil per day to its Iraqi portfolio during the first quarter of the year.
For April, the company said deliveries for exports have averaged around 117,000 barrels of oil per day. DNO and partner Genel Energy plc combined for an average 119,390 bpd exported from the Tawke field in January.
The Tawke field accounts for 50 percent of the production and 60 percent of the total oil exports from the Kurdish north.
Security and budget threats add an extra layer of risk for DNO as lower crude oil prices have crimped the accounts for most of its industry peers. The U.S. State Department has issued a series of travel alerts for the region citing the threats posed by militant groups, including the Islamic State terrorist group.
DNO said that, nevertheless, success from operations from the Kurdish north meant it was posting its first quarterly profit since 2014 of $8 million.
By Daniel J Graeber