Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

MOL shares rise on oil strike in Kurdistan

What's up MOL, the Hungarian petroleum group, has announced a "promising" oil discovery in Iraqi Kurdistan.

MOL, the Hungarian petroleum group, has announced a "promising" oil discovery in Iraqi Kurdistan, spurring its share price to a two-month high. Analysts have quickly weighed in with enthusiastic endorsements, setting the stage for the stock to rise further. On Wednesday, MOL's shares jumped 4.2 per cent in Budapest to 19,700 forints (Dh369.75).

MOL is primarily a petroleum refiner, but is seeking to expand its upstream business. In 2005 it set a target of tripling oil and gas reserves to 900 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and production to 300,000 boe per day (boepd), but has since made little progress towards those goals. Now it is within striking distance of at least the former. Lajos Meszaros, a Budapest-based analyst at KBC Securities, estimates the Akri-Bijeel exploration block, where MOL made its recent discovery, may hold more than 1 billion barrels of oil. The Hungarian company holds 80 per cent of the block, while the Bermuda-registered oil junior Gulf Keystone holds 20 per cent.

MOL also has a 20 per cent stake in the adjacent Shaikan oilfield, of which Gulf Keystone and Etamic, a private investment fund, are the majority owners. Gulf Keystone reckons Shaikan may hold 3 billion barrels of crude. Hootan Yazhari, a London-based analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has a "buy" recommendation on MOL's stock. "We believe there is significant news flow ahead," he said on Wednesday.

MOL's exploration well yielded 3,200 boepd of oil and gas from a pay-zone, or oil-bearing layer, more than 200 metres thick. Providing less cause for optimism is the deadlock over Kurdish oil exports between the semi-autonomous regional government and Baghdad. Early shipments from Kurdistan were halted last autumn because the companies pumping the crude were not paid. The dispute cannot be settled until Iraq forms a new government after last Sunday's national election.

@Email:tcarlisle@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 An air traffic control tower is seen at the central terminal of LaGuardia Airport on April 8, 2014. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

In pictures: New York’s LaGuardia Airport in need of a rebuild

With constraints on its resources and no appetite for further debt, private investors and developers are being tapped to rebuild the 50-year-old central terminal for $3.6 billion, instead of using traditional public finance methods.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 An Uber taxi driver drives his car through a street in New Delhi, India. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

In pictures: On-demand cab service app Uber targets India

Taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia with the company starting operations in 18 cities in Asia and the South Pacific including Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and five Indian cities in the last year.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National