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Iraq's Khor Mor gas project running normally after rocket attack: UAE's Dana Gas


Rocket falls on Kurdistan's Khor Mor block June 22

Security has been enhanced around the project

Signals intensification of attacks on Kurdish energy facilities

UAE's Dana Gas said on June 23 that operations at its Khor Mor gas block in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region are normal and security has been enhanced around its facilities, a day after a rocket struck its project in the area.

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"Dana Gas informs the market that a small rocket landed yesterday afternoon within the Khor Mor block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq," the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange where its shares are listed. "No damage occurred and production operations continued normally without interruption."

The Khor Mor gas project, one of the largest in Kurdistan, usually produces around 450 MMcf/d of gas.

"The company is cooperating with local security services who are conducting a full investigation and the KRG has enhanced measures and security forces in the area," Dana Gas said in the statement.

Kurdistan has been rocked in recent months by strikes on energy infrastructure at a time when Erbil is locked in a dispute with the federal government in Baghdad over the region's independent oil and gas sector.

Gas ambitions

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have in the past claimed responsibility for attacks in Kurdistan, where officials have condemned the strikes amid the regional government's plans to export natural gas to Europe, if a pipeline connection to Turkey can be built.

Kurdistan aims to become a net exporter of gas to the rest of Iraq, as well as Turkey and Europe, its Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said in late March, though this would require significant investment and political buy-in from the federal government in Baghdad.

Dana Gas, the biggest gas producer in Kurdistan, is currently in the midst of increasing Khor Mor's production capacity to 700 MMcf/d by the second quarter of 2023.

The Khor Mor expansion project received a $250 million loan from the US International Development Finance Corp in 2021.

Shaikan attack

Dana Gas' production from Kurdistan remained largely unchanged at 35,400 boe/d in the first quarter of 2022 compared with 35,300 boe/d during the same period in 2021.

In April 2007, Dana Gas and its parent company Crescent Petroleum entered into an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government for exclusive rights to appraise, develop, produce, market and sell petroleum and gas from the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields. Other shareholders in what is called the Pearl consortium are OMV, MOL and RWE with a 10% stake each.

Separately, Kurdish media reported that a rocket fell within a kilometer of an oil company in Shaikan on the night of June 21, without disclosing details. London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum and US-based Hunt Oil Co. have operations in Shaikan.

"There are no incidents at our facilities and production operations continue as normal," a Gulf Keystone Petroleum spokesperson told S&P Global Commodity Insights on June 22.

Hunt Oil declined to comment on the matter.