Gulf Keystone Petroleum
|Type||Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: GKP|
|Industry||Oil and gas industry|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom, Hamilton, Bermuda|
|Number of locations||Kurdistan Region of Iraq|
|Key people||Jeremy Asher|
|Services||Oil exploration and production|
Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LSE: GKP, OTCQX: GFKSY) is an oil and gas exploration and production company operating in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The Company is registered in Bermuda with branch offices in Arbil, Kurdistan, Algiers, Algeria, and London, UK. Through its subsidiary, Gulf Keystone Petroleum International, the Company owns Production Sharing Contracts for four exploration blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Shaikan oilfield is a heavy-sour oilfield in Northern Iraq, in which Gulf Keystone Petroleum currently hold 75% of a production sharing agreement with the Kurdish Regional Government.
Shaikan was declared a commercial discovery on August 1, 2012 following a five-well appraisal programme. Initially independent estimates place the gross oil-in-place (OIP) volume at 13.7 billion barrels (P50) potentially making it one of the largest oilfields discovered in Iraqi Kurdistan.
However, an audit of the Shaikan oilfield published in March 2014 showed that dramatically less oil could be recovered than previously expected. The audit declared that Shaikan contained just 9,215 million barrels of which just 545 million barrels could hope to be recovered to Gulf Keystone, this was significantly less than the 13.7 billion barrels previously claimed by Gulf Keystone Petroleum and as a result, the share price of Gulf Keystone Petroleum crashed by 40% in the days following the publication of the official audit.
GKP also holds interests in the Sheikh Adi, Ber Bahr and Akri-Bijeel blocks, all of which are located in Iraq and proximal to the Shaikan field. As of May 30, 2013, discoveries have been reported on each of these blocks.
Stock Market Speculation (Pump and Dump)
In late 2011, Exxon Mobil announced it had signed exploration contracts for six blocks in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including one block adjacent to the Shaikan block. Several days later, an article appeared in The Independent suggesting Exxon Mobil was engaged in some form of discussion with Gulf Keystone Petroleum.
Despite a press release issued by the directors of Gulf Keystone Petroleum stating no such contact with Exxon Mobil had ever taken place, the share price of Gulf Keystone Petroleum continued to rise in what market speculators refer to as a "pump and dump" bubble, reaching a peak of 465 pence on February 20, 2012 before a spectacular 70% crash.
At the height of the bubble Gulf Keystone Petroleum was valued at more than £4 billion.
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