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Gulf Keystone Ally Denies Ex-Soldier's Iraqi Oil Claim

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Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Texas Keystone, the company being sued along with Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. for a stake in Iraqi oil fields, said an ex-soldier was never part of an exploration deal covering parts of Kurdistan that turned out to hold as much as 15 billion barrels of crude.

Rex Wempen’s company Excalibur Ventures LLC “by its own volition was not a party to the concession in question,” Texas Keystone’s lawyer Michael Crane said during the third day of a London trial. The Kurdish government said it didn’t want Excalibur to be involved, he said.

Wempen claims Texas Keystone signed a 2006 agreement to give him a 30 percent share of any oil concessions it won in the area and that it was an agent of Gulf Keystone. The stake was worth as much as $1.6 billion, he said in court documents.

Gulf Keystone and its affiliate deny the claim. Wempen didn’t hold up his end of the deal because he didn’t contribute to the exploration costs, they said.

The case is: Excalibur Ventures LLC v. Texas Keystone Inc. & Ors, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court, 10-1517.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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