London-listed Gulf Keystone’s finances are in rude health thanks to the combination of record oil production and high oil prices. Free cash flow over the first half of the year more than doubled to $177.3mn, but its reliance on a single asset (Shaikhan) leaves it vulnerable to the Kurdistan Region’s (KR) political risks.

CEO Jon Harris played down the operational impacts of the acrimonious dispute between the KR and Iraq’s federal government during the firm’s 1 September earnings call. Baghdad announced in June that services firms continuing to operate in the KR would be blacklisted from contracts in federal Iraq, prompting a number of big players to exit the semi-autonomous region (MEES, 1 July). (CONTINUED - 377 WORDS)