If there is one topic guaranteed to start a row at ShareProphets HQ it is Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP). We all know who is on which side and so far I’ve been fighting a losing battle. The collapse in the oil price has hurt this company, but possibly not as much as the specific challenges it faces in getting paid for the oil it produces (oh, and let’s not forget the rampaging nutters currently marauding through the region). On Friday, Gulf disappointed the market with news it had suspended oil exports, pending resolution of a “stable payment cycle”. The share price dropped sharply to settle just above the 52-week low, but are things as bad as the market implies?
I just finished speaking with Gulf Keystone (GKP) CEO John Gerstenlauer and he has confirmed that the skilled technicians required to complete the final hook up of Shaikan 10 are flying to Kurdistan from Canada this week. In Mr Gerstenlauer’s words “we are still on track for 40,000bopd by the end of the year”. Hitting this target, by the self-imposed deadline, will be a significant milestone for Gulf. The company has been criticised in the past for slippages. In meeting the 40,000bopd goal this could go a long way to proving to the market that this business is finally on the cusp of fulfilling its vast potential. Mr Gerstenlauer is clearly confident of this being achievable subject to the security situation remaining stable.