BUDAPEST/LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has approved a major new oil field development majority-owned by Hungary's MOL, the company said on Thursday.
The minister of natural resources has given the green light for the field development plan of the Akri-Bijeel Block adjacent to the region's largest oil field, Shaikan, a year after MOL found enough oil to make the project commercially viable.
A number of oil field operators in Iraqi Kurdistan were forced to temporarily curb production this year as the advance of Islamic State militants threatened workers' security.
"MOL Group is committed to maintain its presence and increase investments in the region," Alexander Dodds, MOL's upstream executive vice president, said.
MOL's minority partner in the Akri-Bijeel project is Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP).
The partners will tackle the project in two phases, with the first starting immediately and focusing on determining details such as how much oil can be recovered and overall costs.
Shares in MOL traded up 0.3 percent at the open while GKP jumped 8 percent.
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs in Budapest and Karolin Schaps in London; editing by Jason Neely)
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