Gulf Keystone Petroleum faces uncertainty in Iraqi Kurdistan amid job cuts


Gulf Keystone Petroleum, a prominent player listed on the London Stock Exchange, has raised concerns about its ongoing operations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The company revealed that it has initiated a significant workforce reduction, cutting 55 percent of its expatriate jobs, as part of a cost-cutting measure. This move comes in response to the disruption of oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan.

The situation took a toll on Gulf Keystone Petroleum, prompting them to consider further job cuts. The primary reason for this turmoil is the suspension of oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline since March, which has significantly impacted the company’s operations, as reported by Reuters.

Last week, Iraqi Minister of Oil Hayan Abdul-Ghani met with Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar in Ankara to discuss issues related to oil exports. However, no official agreement was announced regarding the resumption of oil exports through the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

John Harris, CEO of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, expressed optimism in a statement, believing that the export suspension is temporary. The company anticipates that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will eventually resume oil sales payments, although no official timeline has been provided.

Notably, Turkey halted Iraq’s oil exports, totaling 450,000 barrels per day, through the pipeline originating in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and leading to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on March 25.

Despite the challenges, Gulf Keystone Petroleum remains hopeful about its ability to sustain operations for the next 12 months. The company has started selling oil locally and partially resumed production in July, demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity.

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