Kurdistan Qaiwan gas processing

Kurdistan plans a gas-powered leap forward

ERBIL, September 28, 2017 – The Kurdistan Region of Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Iraq in a non-binding referendum on September 25, 2017. The full implications of this vote are not yet clear. However, regardless of its legal status, the regional government has followed up more than a decade of development in its oil production abilities with major steps toward a viable gas revolution.

Commentators emphasising the importance of oil in the referendum have missed a bigger story: Natural gas is at the heart of Kurdistan’s vision for its independent economic development.

TOGY’s latest story map charts the Kurdistan Region’s history of oil and gas development, profiling its key assets and the recent moves to revive oil production and pave the way for growth centred on gas.

While the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has made a number of recent moves to resume output at its oil assets by settling its oil sales debts, such as its August improvement of contract terms for Genel Energy and DNO and USD 15-million payment to Gulf Keystone, the new wave of activity the government is courting is heavily focused on gas.

In mid-September, sources told TOGY that Rosneft was in talks with officials from the KRG to help fund and build a pipeline that would export natural gas into Turkey and Europe. After the company went public with the news, international media reported that the deal, including a parallel pipeline investment in the region, would be worth more than USD 1 billion.

Rosneft’s show of interest in gas infrastructure comes three months after June’s revelation that the company had signed five production-sharing agreements covering five blocks in the region. The company has also stoked its ties with the KRG by lending a portion of the funds the government used to settle a long-running arbitration with the Pearl Petroleum consortium, paving the way for ramped-up production at Khor Mor and Chemchemal, two of the region’s major gasfields.


The Khor Mor field went on stream in 2008 and now produces about 9.2 mcm (325 mcf) of gas per day. Gas is transported via pipeline to the Bazian and Erbil power plants. The field’s gas processing facility also includes two LPG trains.

The Chemchemal field has not yet been developed, but contains 58.6 bcm (2.07 tcf) in recover-able gas. While no specifics have been announced, Crescent Petroleum CEO Majid Jafar has said the consortium intends to more than double its production in the region to 22.7 mcm (800 mcf) of gas per day in the next two years.

New pipeline infrastructure will be key to bringing more of Kurdistan’s gas assets on stream. The Kurdamir and Topkhana oil and gasfields and the Miran and Bina Bawi gas and condensate fields will be key among these. While Kurdamir and Topkhana are primed for development once a pending gas sales deal is inked, Miran and Bina Bawi were the subject of a fresh agreement in February between the KRG and Genel, which is seeking partners as it pushes ahead with the project.

For more on Kurdistan’s oil and gasfields, see TOGY’s latest story map.

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