By John Lee.

Genel Energy‘s chief executive has said he may step down as CEO as early as the end of this year to become Chairman.

Reuters reports that Tony Hayward (pictured) also told the FT Commodities Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday that low oil prices will trigger consolidation in the oil industry in Iraqi Kurdistan, potentially making Genel both a consolidator and an acquisition target.

But the Financial Times says he also predicted oil prices would soon return to near $80 a barrel, describing the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as “the most successful cartel in history.”

(Sources: Reuters, FT)

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP),  operator of the Shaikan field (pictured) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, jumped 65 percent on Wednesday after the company announced that it has recently engaged in discussions with a number of parties in relation to possible asset transactions or a sale of the company.

GKP advised that these discussions are preliminary and, as such, there can be no certainty that any offers will be received and any transaction concluded, or any certainty as to the terms on which any offer might be made. Further announcements will be made by the company as and when appropriate.

As at today’s date, the Company’s cash balance is US$69.3 million and it has been informed that a further US$26 million gross payment (US$20.8 million net to Gulf Keystone) for Shaikan crude oil sales has been received by the Company’s bank and is expected to be credited to the Company’s account shortly.

Concurrently, and in view of strategic discussions and its current liquidity position, and with the intention of meeting its existing debt payment obligations, the Company is undertaking a review of its financing options and in that context will engage in discussions with its key stakeholders.

The Company has appointed Deutsche Bank and Perella Weinberg Partners as financial advisers.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) have gained around 10 percent this week on rumours of a takeover.

Bloomberg reports that, as the world’s biggest oil companies look for untapped fields, the company is sitting on a giant oil field in Iraqi Kurdistan that wouldn’t look out of place in a major’s portfolio.

With the KRG completing a pipeline for direct crude exports to Turkey by the end of the year, exports could be set to boom.

Chief Executive Todd Kozel (pictured), told Bloomberg:

Exports are what we’ve been waiting for since 2007, so the pipeline is very big and instrumental for a company like Gulf Keystone.

But added:

We are a public company, and consolidation is the next phase in Kurdistan. But that’s not in our plans now.

(Source: Bloomberg)