Genel Rises on ‘Significant’ Oil Find in Kurdistan: London Mover

Genel Energy Plc, an oil explorer run by former BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, rose to the highest in five months after making a “significant” oil discovery in Kurdistan.

The shares gained 51 pence, or 6.4 percent, to close at 850 pence in London trading, the highest since Nov. 13. That values the Jersey, U.K.-based company at 2.4 billion pounds ($3.7 billion).

Genel, the largest producer in Iraq’s Kurdish region, said the first of five Chia Surkh wells flowed 11,950 barrels of oil a day and 15 million cubic feet of gas during several days of testing, the company said today in a statement. It began drilling a second well this week.

“Whilst it’s early days, we’ve got a reservoir that will bring significant volumes” of oil, Hayward said in a phone interview. “We are only drilling big prospects.”

The field may hold more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, Hayward said. Genel operates Chia Surkh and has 60 percent of the license. The rest is held equally by Petoil Inc. and the Kurdish government, according to today’s statement.

Separately, Genel is in talks with as many as four Turkish utilities to sell gas from the company’s Miran field, Hayward said.

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)
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