Genel 'in talks' for Kurdistan field stake

Eyes on Kurdistan: Tony Hayward

London-listed Genel Energy has confirmed it is in talks with Longford Energy about the possible acquisition of a substantial stake in an oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The company was responding to press speculation, including a Sky News blog report stating that Genel was likely to seal a deal worth “tens of millions of pounds” for the Chia Surkh oilfield before Christmas.

Kurdistan-focused Genel confirmed in a statement issued on Wednesday that it was in negotiations with the Canadian company to acquire an additional 40% stake in the field, in which it already holds a 20% working interest.

However, it added “there can be no certainty these discussions will result in a transaction”.

Genel was formed earlier this year in a $2 billion reverse takeover of Turkey’s Genel Enerji by Vallares, the investment vehicle of former BP chief executive Tony Hayward and financier Nathaniel Rothschild.

Hayward has promised to identify takeover and asset acquisition opportunities, both in Kurdistan and elsewhere.

Shares of Genel were marginally up at 796 pence at 08:50 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

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