Bottom Line: Anglo-Turkish Genel Energy—the biggest license holder in Iraqi Kurdistan—has announced another discovery, boosting the company’s already significant resources in Kurdistan.
Analysis: Genel Energy (LON:GENL) and partner Gulf Keystone (LON:GKP) have confirmed another commercial oil discovery in the Ber Bahr exploration well after drilling to a depth of 3,933 meters encountered good oil shows over a 300-meter interval. The well is operated by Genel. This was the sidetrack test (initial testing failed) and this time around we’re talking about flow rates of about 2,100 barrels of oil per day. Development of the field will begin in the second half of this year. Genel and Gulf Keystone each hold a 40% stake in the license, with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) holding 20%. For Gulf Keystone, it represents the fifth discovery across four blocks in which it has an interest in Kurdistan.
Recommendation: Gulf Keystone is undergoing some structural changes, recently announcing that it would split the roles of chairman and CEO and move from AIM to the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange official list. The Ber Bahr find, in combination with this, boosts its buy-out position. Genel Energy is a different game altogether and becoming more of an investor attraction by the week, in large part based on its amazing success in Kurdistan. Now is the time to get in on Genel, before it starts producing in full force for sale on the international market via Turkey, which should really start to take off by the end of this year.