MOL’s head of international new ventures, Jozef Tatai, sees the firm’s KRG assets as “MOL’s flagship project” and a “potential company maker.” He adds that MOL’s “early entry [to the KRG] as a ‘risk-taker’ has paid off.”

MOL in 2007 took an 80% operator’s stake in the Akre Bijeel Block as well as 20% of Gulf Keystone’s prolific Shaikan Block. A declaration of commerciality for the Akre-Bijeel Block was submitted last month and a surface facility is planned together with a “very intensive” appraisal drilling program over the next 18 months, Mr Tatai says. However, although first production had previously been expected before the end of 2012 it is now unclear when it might begin given deepening political tensions between Baghdad and the KRG (MEES, 6 August). (CONTINUED - 400 WORDS)