Oil company raises fund for northern Iraq search
A flame rises from a pipeline at the Taq Taq oil field in Arbil in northern Iraq. REUTERS photoBritain’s Gulf Keystone Petroleum is to raise $200 million to bolster its resources as it pushes to expand its oil exploration and development in Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
The company said yesterday that it was launching $200 million of convertible bonds due Oct 2017, with an annual coupon of between 5.875 and 6.625 percent. The funds would be used to help it move to large-scale development of a commercial oil find made at its Shaikan block in August, drill deeper there and explore neighboring blocks, it said. “In addition to being an important milestone for the company.”
This financing shows an increasing confidence of international markets in doing business in the KRG territory, said Gulf Keystone chief executive Todd Kozel. Baghdad and the KRG agreed last month to draw a line under a dispute over oil contracts, with the central government saying it would pay foreign companies and KRG resuming halted shipments. The dispute had flared up after the KRG had angered the central government by signing deals with foreign oil firms that Baghdad said were illegal.
Gulf Keystone is aiming to complete its development plan for the Shaikan field by January, and is looking to pump 150,000 barrels of oil per day from it by 2015.