Could you brief our readers regarding developments at the Qara Dagh, Sarta, and Rovi blocks in 2014? What are your plans for 2015? Chevron’s drilling program in Rovi and Sarta blocks has made good progress. Chevron has also acquired 2D seismic data for Rovi/ Sarta.

Drill Stem Tests (DSTs) were started in both Rovi and Sarta in June 2014. The DSTs would enable Chevron to gain a better understanding of the hydrocarbon potential and to make Declaration of Commerciality decisions. We have partially completed flow testing both wells and are encouraged by the initial tests. Chevron plans to continue the DSTs at Rovi and Sarta when it resumes operations. In Qara Dagh, Chevron plans to proceed with the 2D seismic data acquisition program when it resumes operations in the Kurdistan Region.

Chevron is pleased that in the last 12 months it has contributed a total of $1.9 million towards supporting Kurdistan Oil and Gas Humanitarian Initiatives (KOGHI) in response to the huge influx of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region. Chevron contributions have funded Save the Children (STC) and International Rescue Committee (IRC) programs.

In 2013, Chevron built six computer labs and two football fields in the communities it operates in. Our 2015 social investment plans have a diverse range of projects focused on Chevron themes of health, education, and economic development.

What kind of year was 2014 for the oil and gas industry here in Kurdistan? Overall 2014 has been a good year for the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas industry with a substantial increase in activities. More companies were drilling, acquiring seismic data and working towards meeting their PSC commitments, and declaring commerciality. The recent deal between Erbil and Baghdad is a very encouraging development that demonstrates the willingness of both sides to work out a resolution on the hydrocarbon and revenue sharing laws.

Chevron is pleased that in the last 12 months it has contributed a total of $1.9 million towards supporting Kurdistan Oil and Gas Humanitarian Initiatives (KOGHI) in response to the huge influx of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region.

The MNR set an export goal of 2 million bpd for Kurdistan by 2019. Do you think that is achievable? How would you define Chevron’s role in this strategy? The Kurdistan Region is still relatively under-explored and we believe the Region has potential to become a prominent player in the oil industry. There are more than 40 operators working in the Kurdistan Region at various stages of development, so the target production mentioned by Minister Hawrami is possible. A lot of joint effort will be required from the industry and the government to achieve the projected production. Undoubtedly, the Kurdistan Region has the potential to emerge as a leading contributor to global oil supplies by the end of this decade.

Our vision is to build a legacy position for Chevron here in Kurdistan. While we are still in the early phase of our growth, it is for anyone to see that the Kurdistan Region has all it takes to become a major player in the global energy market.

Which trends do you see affecting energy companies here in the medium term? Entrepreneurs and small companies entered Kurdistan around 2006 and took risks – geopolitical and geological. They discovered oil and put Kurdistan on the global exploration map. As the industry in the Region matures, we will witness consolidation and more experienced companies operating in the Region. It demonstrates confidence in the contract terms and business environment.

What potential is there for Kurdistan to become a significant player in the regional energy industry? The KRG considers the hydrocarbon sector a priority, and the MNR, under the guidance of Minister Hawrami, is being proactive in putting the required legislation, processes, and procedures in place to ensure the success of the oil and gas industry in Kurdistan.