September 19, 2017 / 6:27 AM / a year ago

Gulf Keystone posts first half pretax profit on stable output, cash receipts

(Reuters) - Iraq-based oil producer Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd on Tuesday reported a pretax profit, boosted by stable production and cash receipts from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The company said it has continued to receive regular payments from the Ministry of Natural Resources with net cash receipts of $84 million year to date.

The company has been hurt by geopolitical tensions in the region and irregular payments from the local government.

The Kurdistan government is expected to sign a deal to pay off debts owed to oil producers in the region ahead of a referendum on independence from Iraq, which is set to take place on Sept. 25.

The government in August struck a deal with Genel and Norway’s DNO to clear outstanding debt and restructure oil export payments.

Revenue for the period fell 23.3 percent to $78.3 million for the first half ended June 30. The company had unrecognised revenue arrears of $33 million at end-June. Production averaged 36,664 barrels of oil per day during the period.

Brent crude prices have averaged $52.68 in the six months to June 30, compared with $41.21 in the same period last year.

Gulf Keystone reported a first-half pretax profit of $619,000, compared with a $232.3 million loss in the year-ago period.

The company that produces oil from the Shaikan oilfield in Iraq’s Kurdistan region said with a gross production of about 35,350 barrels of oil per day in the third quarter, it remained on track to meet production forecast for the year of 32,000 to 38,000 barrels of oil per day.

Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan and Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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