Gulf Keystone (LSE:GKP)

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Gulf Keystone operations "not affected" by Erbil attack

Gulf Keystone operations "not affected" by Erbil attack

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) have dropped over 3% after a terrorist threat in the capital of Kurdistan on Sunday, close to its operations in the region, left six people dead.

More than 40 people were injured as well as the six dead after suicide bombers attacked the main security headquarters in Erbil, the fourth-largest city in Iraq and the capital of the Kurdistan region.

"A minibus driven by a suicide bomber tried to storm the security office in Erbil, but he was fired upon and killed by the guards, and as a result the vehicle exploded" Erbil security said in a statement.

"Immediately following the explosion four suicide bombers armed with weapons and hand grenades attacked and tried to enter the security headquarters, but they were killed by the guards."

Kurdistan's health minister, Rekaut Rashid, said in a press conference that most of the victims had been police and security officials.

GKP has offices in Erbil and its assets, including the Shaikan oil field, are located to the north of the city.

Chief executive Todd Kozel said he was "saddened" by the incident, commenting: "It is well known that both Erbil and the region in general are peaceful and stable. Nonetheless, regrettably, like London or New York, nowhere is immune to the horrors of terrorism.

"Gulf Keystone's people are thankfully all safe and operations are not affected and all our thoughts are with the people of the Kurdistan region of Iraq."

Investor view

Interactive Investor discussion board users had mixed feelings on the announcement, with some feeling it had been "pointless".

"Just by issuing [the RNS] it draws attention to the 'risky' operating area and so is negative," commented 'rollthediceagain'.

"Shame the board of directors can't issue timely updates of issues of interest to shareholders."

'Buriram9' echoed this sentiment, adding: "Nearly a month since production was stopped, you'd have thought some mention would be given as to the current state of affairs regarding production in this pointless RNS."

However, some users were more sympathetic and praised GKP for its reaction.

"While there is no requirement to comment on a rare and isolated event that has not impacted their operations, it is not unreasonable for the company to clarify the situation for its shareholders while rightly making an expression of solidarity with the region and its people," said 'bonobo77'.

"Such an expression would have been rendered hollow were it accompanied in the same RNS by a production update."

This article is delivered as part of Interactive Investor's Interface service, which brings companies enhanced exposure to Interactive Investor's audience of active retail investors. Companies pay a fee to be included in this service. For more on Interface click here.

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