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Gulf Keystone Set for Significant Production Growth

Source: 5/2/2013, Location: Middle East

Gulf Keystone, a leading independent E&P operator in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is pleased to provide an update on its four blocks in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including the world-class discoveries at Shaikan. Gulf Keystone is on the verge of moving into a phase of significant production, with the capacity to produce up to 40,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from Shaikan in the coming months and up to 400,000 bopd in the coming years. The Company will be a key contributor in meeting the Kurdistan Regional Government's oil production targets of 1 million bopd in 2015 and 2 million bopd by 2019.

Considerable progress is being made on the regional pipeline infrastructure development and the Company's increasing production will be matched by the available export capacity. The size and quality of the Company's fields is now increasingly recognised and a number of the world's largest oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total, are now following Gulf Keystone's lead and commencing active work programmes in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Commenting on the announcement, Todd Kozel, Executive Chairman and CEO, said: "As one of the first companies to see the potential of the region, over the last five years Gulf Keystone has drilled or participated in nearly 20 wells and remains one of the most active operators in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Shaikan is the largest onshore development worldwide today not in the hands of a major operator. However, we believe that we have only scratched the surface of the true value of our blocks and our ongoing exploration and appraisal activity is expected to result in further upside."

"The Company is encouraged by recent reports from a variety of sources, including political spokespersons, regarding the close and burgeoning ties between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Turkey, which the Company believes presents further transformational progress for the region. In this context, Gulf Keystone will play a major role as a co-host of the 2nd International Energy Arena Conference in Erbil on 30 May, a meeting place for key political and industry decision makers on the energy cooperation between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Turkey."

"I therefore strongly believe that there is considerable momentum in the development of Kurdistan's vast natural resources and Gulf Keystone is in a prime position to benefit as the region moves to this next stage."

"Our remarkable journey continues and I remain indebted to our hosts in the Kurdistan Regional Government and to the outstanding team within our Company. We have never been more excited about the future."

Production & Development Highlights
· Significant operational progress made in the last 3.5 years between the Shaikan-1 discovery in 2009 and the submission of the Shaikan Field Development Plan (FDP) in early 2013, which is currently being reviewed by regulatory authorities
· Two new production facilities at Shaikan (PF-1 & PF-2) nearing completion.

· Gulf Keystone's ramp up in production fully aligned with the region's ongoing infrastructure development
· Alternative transport options exist for Gulf Keystone's crude whilst the Shaikan pipeline is constructed, including the ability to truck and accessing growing pipeline infrastructure, including a planned oil pipeline with initial capacity of 300,000 bopd to the Fishkabur pump station on the border with Turkey expected to complete in 2013

Operational Update
Shaikan Field Development Plan
On 27 January 2013, Gulf Keystone, as operator, submitted a Field Development Plan (FDP) to the Shaikan Block Management Committee. The Company is in constructive talks with the appropriate regulatory authorities concerning their feedback on the proposed way forward for the development of the Shaikan field, which was declared a major commercial discovery in August 2012.

Shaikan PF-1 and PF-2
Following approval of the Shaikan FDP, Gulf Keystone will be ready to step up its production operations through the commissioning of two new production facilities at Shaikan ("PF-1 and PF-2"). The Company is planning to complete mechanical assembly and connection works on the Shaikan PF-1 by the end of Q2 2013, which will be followed by a period of start-up, commissioning and ramping-up of production to a target of 20,000 bopd, increasing to a capacity of 40,000 bopd in the coming months following the commissioning of the Shaikan PF-2.

Delivery of equipment modules for the Shaikan PF-2 is progressing and the construction of the Shaikan PF-2 site has been completed. The assembly works will commence following the completion of the Shaikan PF-1.

Shaikan-7 and Shaikan-10 wells
The Company plans to spud Shaikan-7, the first deep exploration well, targeting the mid to lower Triassic and, potentially, Permian horizons, and Shaikan-10, the first development well, in May and June 2013 respectively.

For more information about related Opportunities and Key Players visit Iraq Oil and Gas Projects

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