What are Petoil’s current operations in Kurdistan?
We have one block: Chia Surkh. Genel Energy is our partner there. We have a 20% share and then 60% belongs to Genel Energy.
Do you think small companies will still be able to operate in the region or do you think it will now only be the supermajors who control the sector?
I think in the near future only the biggest oil and gas companies will be involved in Kurdistan. Small companies were able to come in and start the work. If they were successful, they then sold their shares to larger companies. Now, it is increasingly becoming only the major oil and gas companies operating here in Kurdistan.
How do you assess the development in oil and gas industry in the Kurdistan Region?
When we first got involved in the Kurdistan Region, there was nothing here. There weren’t even any flights into Kurdistan. There were no service companies and no drilling rigs. We bought one from a Canadian company and had it shipped to Houston, where it was refurbished and then sent to Mersin Harbor in Turkey. From there, it was transported over ground to the Kurdistan Region. With that rig we were able to drill one well in the Pulkhana block. Now, there are lots of service companies and lots of rigs. In fact, I believe there are currently around 35 rigs with many more on the way.
What are Petoil’s future plans in the Kurdistan Region?
Currently, we are following some other possible projects in Kurdistan. If they become available and we feel they are possible, we will pursue another agreement. However, today, there are very large companies operating in the oil and gas sector in Kurdistan. So, it’s very difficult to get new blocks. Now, the supermajors are here and it makes it much more difficult to compete.
I think in the near future only the biggest oil and gas companies will be involved in Kurdistan. Now, the supermajors are here and it makes it much more difficult to compete.