Q&A: Genel Energy’s Tony Hayward and Mehmet Sepil

The leaders of the new Genel Energy talk to reporters about prospects in KRG and beyond, life with Exxon, and sanctity of their deals.
Tony Hayward, co-founder of Vallares Plc, third right, and Mehmet Sepil, then chief executive officer of Genel Energy International Ltd., second right, during the merger discussions in London, on Sept. 7, 2011. The company officially merged on Nov. 21. (ANDREW PARSONS/Parsons Media/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

ERBIL - Former BP chief Tony Hayward's multi-billion-dollar acquisition of Turkey's Genel Enerji has represented an enormous vote of confidence in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

In entering the lucrative Kurdish oil sector, Hayward was following dozens of increasingly high-profile companies, including American majors Marathon and Hess and the Spanish firm Repsol. Shortly after the Genel deal was announced, ExxonMobil shocked Iraq's oil industry by signing six Kurdish exploration blocks, leading to continuing speculation of more new players, mergers and acquisitions to come.

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