Gulf Keystone Raises $175m in Surprise Placing

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE: GKP), the Aim-quoted oil explorer, has raised £109m ($175m, 210 billion Iraqi dinars) to accelerate its Iraq-based drilling programme in a surprise share placement.

The Financial Times reported on Saturday tha the placement was run by Mirabaud Securities and priced at 140p a share; Gulf Keystone’s shares closed at 143½p on Friday. As of Sunday evening there has been no official announcement of the deal.

The company reportedly declined to comment on the matter.

The money will be used for appraisal drilling at the Shaikan block, as well as exploratory drilling on neighbouring concessions.

Only last month Todd Kozel, chief executive, said the company was well-funded “through to summer of 2011”.

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