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Genel Takes Over Miran Block in Kurdistan, Expands in Somaliland

Genel Energy Plc, the Iraq-focused oil company run by former BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, increased its interests in fields in Kurdistan and Somaliland.

Genel will take an extra 49 percent of Miran, leaving it with 100 percent of the field that holds 10.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, as repayment for a $294 million loan to Heritage Oil Plc issued in August, the company said in a statement in London. Separately, it said it will buy a stake in a Somaliland block.

Hayward is bolstering production in Kurdistan as the region can now sell its fuel for export following an agreement on revenue with the central government in Baghdad. He’s also expanding outside of Kurdistan with a cash pile of about $1 billion to spend on acquisitions.

Genel said today it will buy a 50 percent interest in the Odewayne block in Somaliland from Jacka Resources Ltd. for $657,000. Genel will become operator of the block and carry the costs of seismic work and drilling an exploration well.

“Such frontier exploration opportunities, with a very realistic possibility of finding large volumes of hydrocarbons, are increasingly rare,” said John Hurst, chief operating officer for Genel in Africa. “We look forward to commencing our exploration program which will lead to spudding of our first well by mid-2014.”

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