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Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited says near-term finance deal unlikely

Kurdistan-focused firm posted post-tax losses of US$135mln despite narrowing from US$248.2mln a year ago
Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited says near-term finance deal unlikely
Gulf Keystone is in talks about finance to boost its balance sheet

Troubled oil producer Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LON:GKP) warned that it was unlikely to secure a financing deal soon due to low oil prices, hitting its shares.

The Kurdistan-focused group said gross production rose 71% to 11.1 million barrels of oil in 2015 - 30,500 barrels a day on average - against the same period a year ago.

But the group's stock fell 14.6% to 10.25p as it said its Shaikan wells may begin to show natural declines later in 2016 unless they get extra capital spending.

The company also said post-tax losses still stood at US$135mln despite narrowing from US$248.2mln a year ago. 

In February, Gulf Keystone said it was reviewing its financing options including talks with several interested parties about possible asset transactions or a corporate sale.

But the group added that during 2015 and to date, while discussions were ongoing, "we believe given the current sector dynamics (low and volatile oil prices and geo-political issues in the region), a transaction is unlikely in the near-term."

Chief executive Jón Ferrier said he was still confident about the business and its assets, having started 2015 with installed capacity to produce 40,000 bopd and achieved guidance with a 30,500 bopd average rate, as well as record levels of over 45,000 bopd achieved during the year.

"Against a well-publicised challenging backdrop, both across the industry and in the region, the team is actively managing all aspects of the business over which we can assert control. To that end we are further rationalising the portfolio, in order to focus on Shaikan with its lower risk profile and ability to generate the greatest near term return on investment," he said.

"In the interest of all stakeholders, strenuous efforts are currently underway to strengthen the balance sheet, not only to ensure our ability to remain as a going concern, but also to be able to provide new capital to increase production and as a solid foundation for the longer-term future of the company.

"I look forward to delivering a stronger business in 2016 with stable production, commercial discipline, value realisation and growth."





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