Open season begins for Kurdistan deals

Genel Energy takeover of Chia Surkh block a bellwether of deal-making and expansion in Kurdistan this year.
Open season begins for Kurdistan deals
Larry Morrow, a construction supervisor for Norway's DNO Iraq, taking a call about work at the Tawke field as he overlooks the crude processing facility at DNO's Feyshkabour export center. On the far right is where Tawke field oil is piped in. To the left, pipelines running from a tanker offloading center where other KRG fields truck their crude to be exported. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

Genel Energy announced this week that it is taking over the entire foreign stake in Iraqi Kurdistan's Chia Surkh block, becoming one of the biggest oil operators in the north – and also inaugurating a new phase of oil development for the semi-autonomous region.

Until recently, Kurdistan has focused on signing companies to dozens of exploration blocks; now, with nearly all the open space doled out, the region is likely entering a season of consolidations and acquisitions, and Genel has emerged as its most bullish backer.

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