Genel Energy upbeat on Kurdish potential

Jan. 21, 2013 at 6:20 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Turkey's Genel Energy said it expects to ramp up operations at the Taq Taq oil field in the Kurdish region of Iraq by 20,000 barrels of oil in the coming weeks.

The company received permission Jan. 7 from the Kurdistan Regional Government to ship crude oil from the Taq Taq field by truck to Turkey. Export restrictions had been in place as a sign of growing frustration with the central Iraqi government over oil laws in the country.

Genel Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said the company was operating under the authority of the KRG. Genel is "well-placed to take advantage of regional opportunities for a broader export market as the political situation continues to develop" he said in a statement.

Genel Energy said that in the first two weeks of January it produced on average 89,000 barrels of oil per day. Production reached a peak of 109,000 bpd on Jan. 4.

"Initial volumes are small but the company expects these to grow to 20,000 bpd over the next six to eight weeks," a statement read.

The Kurdish government last month said production from the semiautonomous region could add at least $8 billion to the Iraqi treasury.

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