Bloomberg News

Gulf Keystone Seeks Algeria Buyers to Focus on Iraq

September 29, 2011

(Corrects company name in third paragraph.)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. wants to sell its stakes in an Algerian project and an energy concession in Iraq’s Kurdish region, a company official said.

Gulf Keystone is seeking a buyer for its 38 percent holding in Algeria’s HBH project, Legal and Commercial Director Tony Peart said today. The Hamilton, Bermuda-based company also aims to sell its 20 percent interest in the Akri Bijeel block in the semi-autonomous Kurdish area of northern Iraq, he said.

BG Group Plc operates HBH. Hungary’s Mol Nyrt. is the operator of the block in the Iraqi region controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government, Peart said.

“This is a strategic decision to sell because we want to focus on larger opportunities in Kurdistan,” he said in an interview in Istanbul at the Iraq 2011: Future Energy conference organized by The Energy Exchange.

“We want to focus on projects with larger gas reserves, as we have 60 million barrels of oil equivalent in Algeria, and by contrast, there are reserves of 5 billion barrels of oil in place in Shaikhan,” a separate concession the company operates in the Kurdish region, he said.

Gulf Keystone started production tests earlier this year and is ready to ship about 5,000 barrels a day from Iraq, if the Kurdistan Regional Government approves, he said.

--Editors: Bruce Stanley, Rob Verdonck

To contact the reporter on this story: Nayla Razzouk in Istanbul at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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