London, United Kingdom (uk.gov.krd). Karwan Jamal Tahir, KRG UK High Representative attended an annual energy conference in Oslo organised by SpareBank 1 Market, where he also gave a speech in a panel discussion on the energy sector in the Kurdistan Region. The conference was attended by Tina Bru, Norwegian Minister Petroleum and Energy, IOCs and financial institutions, Nordic energy CEOs and hundreds of investors and industry representatives.
Ove Gusevik, Head of Investment at SpareBank 1 Market, welcomed the guests and gave an overview of SpareBank 1 Market bank and areas of investment.
Tina Bru stated that “I am acknowledging the vital role you have representing capital and investment; you are essential for the development of hydropower and petroleum activity in Norway. Capital and investment will continue to play a crucial role in developing this energy nation into the future”.
In the Kurdistan Region’s panel, Mr Tahir concentrated on four main points: the KRG’s policy and strategy in developing the oil and gas sector, the security situation, the Baghdad and Erbil relationship and the KRG’s commitment towards the IOCs. Mr Tahir then focused on the government’s reform plans to improve various economic sectors: “This new momentum for reforms will create new opportunities for foreign investors, civil society, and our economy. There are many opportunities in the KRI which has much to offer to international investors and the international community.” Mr Tahir assured investors that security has always been the KRG’s top priority: “We wouldn’t have been successful in developing our economy if we had not made security our top priority.”
The IOCs that operate in the Kurdistan Region such as Gulf Keystone, Gene, HKN Energy, DNO, ShaMaran Petroleum and etc were all very optimistic about the future of the Kurdistan Region’s energy sector and described the sector as a “developed phase”. Steve Berger, CEO HKN Energy hailed the top security KRG has provided in Kurdistan Region which has enabled IOCs to continue their operation smoothly.
Regarding IOCs payments companies acknowledged some payment delays when the Kurdistan Region was going through multiple shocks including the ISIS war but that in the recent years, payments have been normalised again. In his remarks, Esa Ikaheimonen, CFO at Genel Energy stated that “We have full confidence in the KRG to do their best in providing payments to the IOCs”.