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Afren Says Kurdistan Production Will Rise on Pipeline Completion

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Afren Plc, a U.K.-based oil and gas company focused on West Africa and Iraq, will increase output in Kurdistan once a pipeline export route to Turkey is completed by the end of this year.

“The pipeline is a positive step and we’ve agreed a tie-in,” Chief Executive Officer Osman Shahenshah said in a telephone interview. “The plan is to increase production substantially.”

Afren is selling 2,500 barrels of crude a day into the domestic market on trucks in the semi-autonomous northern Iraqi region, Shahenshah said. It maintained its guidance for full-year production for the whole company at 40,000 to 47,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Output in the first half was 47,653 barrels a day, up 13 percent from a year earlier. The company will have to install a new platform in Nigeria, probably in the fourth quarter, and that will temper production, Shahenshah said. The timing of the shutdown still isn’t certain and may be pushed back into next year. The company declined to give guidance on production in 2014.

Profit after tax from continuing operations fell 39 percent in the first half to $62 million. The Shares dropped 2.8 percent in London to 141.8 pence as of 8:50 a.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Swint in London at bswint@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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