Pity the poor investor in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LON: GKP) (NASDAQOTH: GFKSY.US), theyve had a rough year. They embarked on 2014 with high hopes, with the oil explorers Shaikan operation in Kurdistan ready to start gushing.
And although there has been good news on that front, the share price is down 70% this yearas nervous investors flee political and economic uncertainty, and the oil sector meltdown.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum is down 20% in the last week alone. Does that make it a buy?
That Petrol Emotion
Actually, I dont really investors pity in Gulf Keystone Petroleum. They knew what they were getting into, and accepted the risks, just as they will accept potential rewards.
This year, gambling on Gulf backfired. Next year it could be different.
2014could easily have ended on a higher note. After years of exploration, the Kurdish government approved plans for the Akri-Bijeel block at the end of October, which Gulf partly owns. The block holds reserves of around 43 million barrels.
Gulfalso announced that its Shaikan operation is on track to produce 40,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) by the end of this year, up from 23,000.
And at the start of December, itreceived an initial payment of $50 million from the Kurdistan regional government for shipments rooted through Turkey, with further payments to follow.
State of Independence
The flurry of good news took Gulfsshare price to 69p on 2 December. Just over aweek later it is languishing at 51p, down26%. Oil exploration is a riskyexercise when the world is suddenly swimming in a glut of over-supply.
Markets welcomed the news that Gulf hopes to lift its Shaikan output to 60,000 or 70,000 bopd over the next twoyears, assuming Kurdish government payments keep flowing.
In one respect, the rise of Islamic State may have done the Gulfa favour, despite the added instability. The Iraqi central government in Baghdad darent get too heavy over Kurdish oil exports, because it needs its support against the jihadists.
Especially since the West appears to have committed itself to makingKurdistan a buffer againstthe malignant spread of IS.
If you think the oil price is reaching the bottom, now could be an exciting time to make a high-stakes gamble on Gulf. If you think oil is heading to $40 a barrel, then its fast-growing Kurdish production wont be worth as much as it was.
Gulf may be a lot cheaper than it was one week ago, but it isjust as dangerous.
If the Gulf share price recovers, brave investorscouldend updripping in black gold. Potential multi-baggers like this are a great way to turbo-charge your investment portfolio.
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