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Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited Rises As Shaikan Production Recommences

The share price of Gulf Keystone Petroleum  (LSE: GKP) — an oil &  gas exploration and production company with operations in the troubled Kurdistan region of Iraq — is currently up 4%, as commercial production from its Shaikan field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq recommences, following “a communication received from the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government”.

The company is planning to increase the production from the first Shaikan production facility  — Shaikan PF-1 — to 20,000 bopd, while it completes the construction and commissioning of the second Shaikan production facility — Shaikan PF-2 — which will add a further 20,000 bopd of production capacity.  

Gulf Keystone also intends to move from AIM to the main market of the London Stock Exchange by the end of this year, and announced last month that that it had appointed Deutsche Bank to assist with its listing.

Looking longer term, Gulf Keystone is now moving into the large-scale phased development of the Shaikan field. The company has a target of 150,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of production to be reached within three years, following the approval of the Shaikan Field Development Plan, as announced on 26 June 2013.

At the time of writing, Gulf Keystone’s share price is 178.5p, having slipped back almost 18% from a recent high of 218p in early September. The share price was most recently affected by a  terrorist threat in Erbil — capital of Kurdistan — at the end of September, which left six people dead.  At the time Todd Kozel, Gulf Keystone’s Chief executive, commented:

It is well known that both Erbil and the region in general are peaceful and stable. Nonetheless, regrettably, like London or New York, nowhere is immune to the horrors of terrorism.

“Gulf Keystone’s people are thankfully all safe and operations are not affected and all our thoughts are with the people of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The company’s share price is also 13.5% down on this time last year — since when the FTSE 100 has risen over 10%. That said, longer-term shareholders of Gulf Keystone will be more than happy with a return of over 900% over the past five years.

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> Jon doesn't own shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum.