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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