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James Stafford

James Stafford

James Stafford is the Editor of Oilprice.com

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Kurdistan: Our Pick for the Next Big Buy Out

You might not have heard of Oryx (OXC), so if we’re treading on virgin territory here, we’ve got a good reason for doing so.

Earlier this month, Oryx—the upstream division of AOG, offered up 17% of its shares (16,700,000 common shares) on the Toronto Stock Exchange for C$15 per share) with gross proceeds of $250 million. The proceeds will allow Oryx to complete its exploration and appraisal plans through mid-next year, and they expect some serious results over the next 12 months.

The interesting part is who is behind Oryx … Swiss billionaire Jean Claude Gandur, who made his grand entrance onto the oil and gas scene in 2008 with the sale of Addax Petroleum to China’s Sinopec for $7.2 billion. Since then, he’s been out of the fossil fuels game—so Oryx is his re-entry ticket. Gandur owns 77% of Oryx through AOG.

Oryx is exploring in west Africa and Iraqi Kurdistan, and it’s this latter that we have a particular penchant for. It’s also this in which Gandur will excel as a pioneer of power brokering. And Kurdistan is a venue in which gatekeepers and power brokers will make or break you. Gandur makes his rounds like a world-class diplomat, so we like the potential for success here.

Oryx isn’t making any money yet, but it will, and that’s why we think now is the time to get in on this. It could very easily go the way of Addax, which was making about $300 million annually in net income when…

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