* Slight fall in unpaid receivables in Iraqi Kurdistan
* Unpaid debts in Egypt increase
* Hopes to continue developing Egypt assets long-term
* Q4 net profit tumbles 95 pct, share price falls
(Adds CEO comments, detail, context)
By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI, Feb 9 Dana Gas will not make
new investments in Egypt because of delays in obtaining payments
owed to it there, the chief executive of the United Arab
Emirates company said.
Political and economic turbulence in Egypt and Iraqi
Kurdistan mean Dana has struggled to secure revenues in either
country, once again hitting its profit on Thursday.
Dana posted a $7 million net profit in the three months to
Dec. 31, versus $134 million in the same period of 2015 when it
benefited from a one-off legal settlement. Shares in Dana fell
3.7 percent following the results.
The amount owed by Egypt was $265 million as of Dec. 31, up
from $221 million at the end of 2015, Dana said. Unpaid
receivables from the Kurdistan Regional Government were $713
million, down slightly from $727 million in 2015.
"As uncertainty remains we must therefore be rigorous in
balancing any additional capital investment in Egypt with actual
collections," CEO Patrick Allman-Ward told reporters.
Dana will complete current Egyptian investments in critical
health, safety, security and environmental areas and all of its
up-and-running projects, but all non-critical projects have been
paused since the start of the year, he said.
The Egyptian government has been seeking to draw foreign
investors back to its energy sector to boost shaky public
finances, but it has failed to meet self-imposed deadlines for
paying back international oil companies.
Dana had thought that part of a $12 billion loan from the
International Monetary Fund loan agreed with Egypt in November
would be used for payments to the petroleum sector, but the
money had been "used for other purposes", Allman-Ward said.
He now hoped part of a combined $5.5 billion that Egypt has
secured through an international bond issue and loans from the
World Bank and African Development Bank would be used to meet
outstanding petroleum debts.
Dana's investment freeze would be reviewed once it had been
paid by the Egyptian government, Allman-Ward said, adding that
the company wanted to continue developing its assets there.
Production from Egypt in the fourth quarter rose to 40,500
barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up 31 percent on the
year-ago period, Dana said, although it took a $20 million
charge last year because of currency depreciation.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia and Alexander Smith)