Genel, Gulf Keystone Drill Another Commercial Discovery

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Independent oil exploration and production companies, Genel Energy plc (LSE:GENL) and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LSE:GKP), announced earlier today another commercial oil discovery in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, advancing shares of both firms on the London Stock Exchange in early morning trading.

In a statement released by Genel, the operator of the Ber Bahr block in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, and concurred by Gulf Keystone, the sidetracked Ber Bahr-1 well flowed at a rate of 2,100 stock tank barrel per day (STB/day). The oil discovered has a specific gravity of 15 degrees API, which means it is classified as heavy crude oil.

Shares of Genel gained as much as 29.6 pence, or 3%, to 958.1 pence at the start of trading on the London Stock Exchange, whilst Gulf Keystone shares gained 2% to 155.2 pence in an apparent show of appreciation.

This is the first discovery in the 280-square kilometre block and the fifth for Gulf Keystone in the region, where the company focuses all its operations as it exits from Algeria.

Gulf Keystone has interests in four blocks in Kurdistan, including the 12.4 billion barrels gross oil-in-place in the Shaikan block. Genel holds seven licences in the said region, including the Taq Taq and Tawke fields, which have a combined proven and probable reserves of about 1.4 billion barrels.

Genel, one of the largest independent oil players in the region, plans to move the exploration of the Ber Bahr block into a development phase by the second half of the year, according to its Exploration Head, Dr. John Hurst.

The Ber Barh block is estimated to have about 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent initially in place.

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