Kuwait Energy looks to IPO by year end; divestments imminent

20 Jun 2014 – Kuwait Energy, an independent Middle Eastern oil & gas exploration company, plans to launch its IPO by the end of 2014, Mohammed Aboush, the company’s senior vice president of Iraq projects told this news service.

The firm intends to list on the London Stock Exchange main market. Aboush did not specify the amount of capital the company hopes to raise through the IPO. The capital would be used to develop existing assets, he said. 

In its end of year 2013 results, Kuwait Energy reported revenues of USD 284.4m, and an average production rate of 23,000 bbl/d. 

The firm has operations in Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Oman, Pakistan, Russia and Yemen. In a bid to exit Eastern Europe, due to the current geopolitical climate, it recently sold off its operations in Ukraine. Its Russian business, comprising a single onshore block in development, is up for sale. 

The Ukraine and Russian assets combined have an estimated value of USD 15m, according to the firm’s 2013 financial report.

“We are close to selling the Russian asset [and the] deal will close within a few weeks to months,” Aboush added. 

Kuwait Energy is also looking to reduce its stake in the onshore Block 9 oil field near Basra, Iraq. At present it owns a 70% share, with Dragon Oil & Gas holding 30%. 

“A stake of between 30% and 40% is for sale, since Kuwait Energy intends to maintain operatorship of the block and that is difficult to do with a share under 30%,” said a source familiar with the company. “Talks with pre-qualified parties are ongoing.”

The capex requirement to get Block 9 into production will be several billions of US dollars, Aboush noted. 

Kuwait Energy’s legal adviser is Allen & Overy, and its financial adviser is Strand.

by Katie McQue in London

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