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Dubai’s Dragon Oil to launch survey in Afghanistan.

22 April 2014 TheNational

Dragon Oil, the Dubai-owned oil producer, is launching a geological survey of concessions in Afghanistan this year as part of a US$1.5 billion planned spending campaign.

Dragon and its partners in Afghanistan, Turkiye Petrolleri and the Ghazanfar Group, will conduct two-dimensional seismic imaging over a 1,275 kilometre stretch, it announced yesterday.

Dragon, which is 51 per cent-owned by Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Company, holds a 40 per cent stake in the concession it secured last year. It will be the operator of the Sanduqli block, which borders Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and spans 2,563 square km.

 

Dragon is also exploring in Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq and the Phillipines in an effort to expand its production base beyond Turkmenistan, where late rig deliveries this year have delayed its drilling programme.

“Now we have three rigs drilling and one more to commence operations shortly, the pace of drilling will pick up considerably, albeit the completion of wells will be weighted more towards the second half of the year,” said Abdul Jaleel Al Khalifa, the chief executive. “We expect production to increase from now to the year end.”

The company has spent $107 million on drilling and infrastructure so far this year and expects to spend another $400m by the end of the year to grow production by 10 per cent. That means 14 to 16 wells this year, depending on how many rigs Dragon can secure.

It is targeting $1.5 billion in capital spending over the next three years to hit 100,000 barrels per day by 2016.

Investors are scheduled to vote today on a year-end dividend of 18 cents a share, which would bring the year’s total to 33 cents.

Shares of Dragon in London fell 0.75 per cent to 598 pence in early afternoon trading yesterday.

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