Gulf Keystone and Exxon Mobil silent on Fresh Speculation

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Despite widespread circulation of rumours of a takeover bid, Exxon Mobil and Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE:GKP) have yet to issue statements to shed light into the matter.

The Shaikan block has been accredited in holding an average of over 10 billion oil barrels, where Gulf Keystone has the majority working interest of 75% of the region. However, according to the Production Sharing Contracts, The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had decided to exercise the Third Party Assignment Options on the Shaikan block and the Akri-Bijeel block.

It is believed that if these rights are fully exercised, GKP’s interest in the Shaikan and Akri-Bijeel regions will be 51% and 12.8% respectively.

The announcement came as Exxon Mobil’s six licenced blocks were named including Al Qush, which is located immediately west of the Shaikan block. Exxon Mobil had started securing acreage in the autonomous region of Kurdistan from late last year.

Gulf Keystone was reported at a takeover bid at 800p a share, a premium to the trading price of 160p when the rumour was reported. GKP shares steadied around the 190p levels by the end of 2011. Trading since the beginning of the year has seen the share price sky-rocketed by more than 80p, trading at 276.25p at the end of close on the 12/01/2012.

A statement was issued by Gulf Keystone immediately after news of takeover spread across the markets, denying any negotiations.

Gulf Keystone is now valued at £2.3 billion, far below the £7 or £10 billion purportedly offered by Exxon Mobil.

LSE:GKP)-and-Exxon-Mobil-(NYSE:XOM)-silent-on-Fresh-Speculation#cite_ref-exxon_1-0">↑ Exxon signs Kurd exploration contracts
LSE:GKP)-and-Exxon-Mobil-(NYSE:XOM)-silent-on-Fresh-Speculation#cite_ref-2">↑ ExxonMobil’s blocks in the KRG
LSE:GKP)-and-Exxon-Mobil-(NYSE:XOM)-silent-on-Fresh-Speculation#cite_ref-3">↑ Exxon woos GKP to gain Kurdish base
↑ Exxon mulls £7 billion approach for Gulf Keystone
↑ Gulf Keystone not talking to Exxon on $11 billion sale

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