Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE: GKP) (NASDAQOTH: GFKSY.US) — the oil & gas exploration and production company with operations in the troubled Kurdistan region of Iraq — issued an ‘operational and corporate update’ this morning, in which it announced the commencement of crude oil exports from the Shaikan field.
The first cargo of just around 200,000 barrels of Shaikan crude was trucked to Turkey in December and will be loading at the port of Dortyol during January. Two further cargoes of a similar size are expected to load later this month and in February.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO Todd Kozel said
“Significant progress has been made since the Shaikan Field Development Plan was approved in June 2013. We began commercial production 30 days after its approval and now the first cargo of Shaikan crude is being sold to the international market.
“As we are increasing Shaikan production, we are developing a flexible marketing strategy in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government to achieve the best price for our crude. Our short-term focus is on the trucking export route via Turkey, while we are working on getting access to the regional pipeline network.
“Ours is a constant evolution: we are growing as a company and we are proud to operate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.“
With the litigation against Excalibur Ventures now successfully behind it, Gulf Keystone also reported that it’s in the advanced stages of finalising the relevant documents for its proposed move from AIM to the main stock market, including production of the Listing Prospectus, the Competent Person’s Report, and the required financial reports. The current expectation is that admission will be achieved as soon as practicable in 2014.
At 178.5p, Gulf Keystone’s share price is just over 0.5% up on the day so far, but it remains close to 6% down on this time last year. That said, long term shareholders have enjoyed a 950% gain over the past five years, hugely outperforming the FTSE 100’s meagre 52% rise over the same period.
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> Jon doesn't own shares in Gulf Keystone.