Hungarian firm MOL is in the process of finalizing an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the field development plan for the vast Akri Bijeel block in the autonomous region. It also hopes to sign a deal to buy Kurdish crude for its European refineries on a regular basis, says MOL Group's E&P Executive Vice President Alexander Dodds.

MOL Kalegran, the 100% subsidiary of MOL, announced on 14 August that it had agreed a Field Development Plan (FDP) with the KRG for Akri Bijeel, which it operates with an 80% stake. In doing so, it bucked the trend of other foreign operators in Iraqi Kurdistan, many of which packed up and suspended exploration work as Jihadist IS fighters pushed toward the Kurdish capital Erbil. It also signalled confidence in the region, which emerged as one of the most promising new exploration frontiers only to be buffeted by a damaging dispute with Baghdad over control of its energy resources and, more recently, by the threat from IS. (CONTINUED - 2594 WORDS)