Genel’s Kurdistan Production Jumps in June After Pipeline Starts

Genel Energy Plc, the oil explorer headed by former BP Blc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, said production jumped in June after Iraq’s Kurdistan region opened an export pipeline to Turkey.

Genel’s net production averaged 84,000 barrels a day in June compared with an of 63,000 barrels a day during the first half of the year, according to a statement today.

The opening of the pipeline in May has allowed the autonomous region to increase oil exports through Turkey, bypassing the Iraqi export network. While the government in Baghdad disputes Kurdistan’s right to sell oil directly, the regional administration has sold a cargo of oil at international prices and banked the proceeds in a Turkish bank, Genel said.

Kurdistan, which plans a referendum on independence from Iraq, has largely remained calm as Islamist militants fight the central government for control of large parts of the country. London-based Genel said its operations remain safe and secure.

Genel maintained a forecast for average production in 2014 at 60,000 to 70,000 barrels a day and said revenue would be $500 million to $600 million.

The pipeline will allow Kurdistan to raise exports to 200,000 to 250,000 barrels a day this month from 125,000 barrels early last month, Ashti Hawrami, KRG’s natural resources minister, said on June 18. Daily shipments may increase to 400,000 barrels by the end of the year, he said.

Iraq, excluding the Kurdish region, holds 150 billion barrels in proven crude reserves, the world’s fifth-biggest deposits. The KRG controls 45 billion barrels and has attracted international oil companies including Genel, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total SA with financial terms many investors see as more generous than those available in the rest of the country.

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