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Norway’s DNO boosts oil reserve estimate in Iraq

Recoverable oil seen at 306 mln barrels, up from 230 mln; Revision a "major step up" with more to come -analyst; Iraqi political dispute still blocking DNO revenue; DNO shares up 1 pct on news, outperforming Oslo bourse

March 30, 2011 4:12 by

Norway’s said on Wednesday it controls 30 percent more oil in Iraq and Yemen than previously estimated.

DNO’s biggest revision was in how much oil it expects to squeeze from its Tawke field in Iraqi Kurdistan — 306 million barrels, up from 230 million. It had no news on an Iraqi political dispute blocking payment for exports from the field.
Trond Omdal, analyst at Arctic Securities, called the new Tawke estimate “a major step up” and said there could be more to come.

“There could potentially be (additional) upside in both the oil in place and the recovery rate,” he said, estimating DNO will ultimately get at least 400 million barrels from Tawke.

DNO based its Tawke revision on an increase in the portion of oil in place it thinks it can recover. It now sees 21.3 percent as recoverable, compared with the 16.6 percent assumed in 2007.

Many similar fields in the region have recovery factors in excess of 30 percent, according to Omdal, who has a buy rating on DNO.
Analyst Teodor Sveen Nilsen at First Securities said DNO’s report was positive for the stock.

“It is what we’ve been waiting for, as one of several triggers in the first and second quarters,” he said. “It’s the first significant upgrade of Tawke reserves since 2007.”

DNO spokesman Tom Bratlie said the company had nothing to report on contentious talks between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government over how to structure payments to DNO and other oil producers in Kurdistan.

Shares of DNO were trading up 1.0 percent at 9.05 Norwegian crowns at 0937 GMT, outperforming a benchmark Oslo index that was up 0.41 percent.

(written by by Walter Gibbs and Henrik Stoelen; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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