GKP Names New CEO Amid Kurdistan Struggles

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), whose main asset is the Shaikan oil field in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, has named former Maersk Oil executive Jon Ferrier as its new CEO. He replaces John Gerstenlauer, who has retired after less than a year in the job. It was the second change at the helm of the UK-listed company, which has put itself up for sale as it struggles with mounting debt.

Mr Ferrier takes over at a difficult juncture for GKP, which is owed more than $250mn by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for costs associated with the development of the giant Shaikan oil field and for past exports. The company has raised production capacity at Shaikan, one of the largest discoveries in the semi-autonomous region to 40,000 b/d but says further investment to raise output to 100,000 b/d is on hold pending receipt of payment from the KRG. Mr Gerstenlauer, in his last remarks in a video posted on the firm’s website, said GKP was hopeful of receiving soon a promised $26mn from the KRG for February exports. (CONTINUED - 477 WORDS)