Genel ramps up Iraqi Kurdistan oil output as exports increase

LONDON Thu Jul 3, 2014 9:50am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Genel Energy is seeing a steady increase in oil output from its deposits in Iraqi Kurdistan as the semi-autonomous region ramps up exports to international markets despite opposition from the central government in Baghdad.

Genel said in a statement that its net working interest production from Kurdish fields averaged 84,000 barrels per day in June on the back of exports via a pipeline and by trucks to Turkey.

Average first-half output was 63,000 bpd, an increase of 50 percent on a year earlier. Genel maintained its 2014 production guidance at 60,000-70,000 bpd and kept its 2014 revenue guidance unchanged at $500-600 million.

Genel works on some of the biggest Kurdish fields - Taq Taq and Tawke - and the firm said total output from the deposits stood at 230,000 bpd, making Kurdistan one of the fastest growing producers.

In recent years, Kurdistan signed several deals with oil majors such as Exxon Mobil to develop its other large deposits and is hoping to be producing as much as 1 million bpd in the next few years.

Baghdad claims the sole right to export Kurdish oil and has promised to cut ties and pursue in international courts anyone who buys Kurdish oil, especially via the region's newly built pipeline to Turkey.

In a separate statement, Genel's partner in a Malta offshore project, Mediterranean Oil & Gas, said that the Hagar Qim-1 well has been drilled, plugged and abandoned with no indications of hydrocarbon.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by Pravin Char and Jason Neely)