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Ruling in Gulf Keystone Iraq Oil Field Dispute Set for September

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- A U.K. court will rule as soon as next month on a $1.6 billion dispute involving Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. and a former soldier who is seeking a share of the company’s Iraqi oil fields.

While an exact date for the ruling hasn’t been scheduled, a verdict will likely be issued within the next two weeks, a judicial spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

Wempen, through his company Excalibur Ventures LLC, claims Texas Keystone signed a 2006 agreement to give him a 30 percent share of any oil concessions it won in the Kurdistan region of Iraq 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 argued at a trial that began in October that Wempen didn’t hold up his end of the deal because he didn’t contribute to the exploration costs.

Mark Antelme, an external spokesman for Hamilton, Bermuda-based Gulf Keystone in London, declined to comment.

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: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

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

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