Gulf Keystone hits oil in Iraq

Gulf Keystone Petroleum said yesterday it has found a “massive” oil deposit in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, sending shares up 5.5 per cent to close at 173p. The firm estimated it has struck 220m barrels of probably oil reserves at a shallower depth than previous discoveries, with the potential for up to 2.2bn barrels under less certain estimates. The UK listed company owns a 75 per cent stake in the block, and said the well would now be converted to produced oil from the deeper geological reserves while it worked to develop the shallower resources. Gulf Keystone is currently contesting claims made against it by Excalibur Ventures over an interest of up to 30 per cent in its Kurdistan blocks.