GKP Suspends Truck Shipments; Shares Slide

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were down 10 percent on Friday morning, after it announced the suspension of crude oil exports by truck from Iraqi Kurdistan.

The company said it remains in a dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government's Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR"), in order to receive the outstanding payments due to it and establish a stable payment cycle for export crude oil sales in the future.

In a statement to the markets, the company added:

"In the interim, in order to maintain revenues and cash flow, Gulf Keystone will be recommencing crude oil supply for local Kurdistan use. This provides the prospect of receiving revenues in the near term.

"Export crude oil deliveries by truck have therefore been temporarily suspended. This is expected to be a short term measure until a regular payment cycle can be established for sales via the export route. The Company is actively working towards an early pipeline access solution for Shaikan crude, which will provide significantly improved margins than trucking to the export market.

"As previously announced, the Company will publish its results for the year ended 31 December 2014 on Thursday 9 April 2015."

John Gerstenlauer (pictured), Gulf Keystone's CEO said:

"Further to the oil export agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Federal Government of Iraq reached in December 2014, and the recent passing of Iraq's 2015 federal budget, we remain confident that a stable payment cycle will be established in the near term, and we expect to receive payment for all past and ongoing oil sales from Shaikan.

"The Company is taking a prudent approach to its capital expenditure in 2015 and is striving to ensure consistent and stable revenues in the short-term, which a return to the domestic market provides. Meanwhile, a number of longer term financing options are currently being progressed by the Board."

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

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