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Gulf Keystone Petrol (GKP)

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Thursday 04 July, 2013

Gulf Keystone Petrol

Appointment of Non-Executive Chairman

RNS Number : 5695I
Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd.
04 July 2013

Not for release, publication or distribution in or into the United States or jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom and Bermuda where to do so would constitute a contravention of the relevant laws of such jurisdiction.




4 July 2013


Appointment of Simon Murray as Independent Non-Executive Chairman


Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd ("Gulf Keystone" or "the Company") (AIM: GKP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Murray C.B.E., aged 73, to the Board of Gulf Keystone (the "Board") as Independent Non-Executive Chairman and Senior Independent Director of the Company. Mr Murray will also be appointed Chairman of the Company's Remuneration Committee at its next meeting.


This appointment represents a significant step forward for the Company as it expands and strengthens its Board in advance of seeking admission to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange later this year. Mr Murray will be taking up his appointment with immediate effect and will be attending the Company's Annual General Meeting on 25 July 2013 in order to introduce himself to shareholders.


Simon Murray has a wealth of international business experience and a strong network of contacts, both globally and across the Far East, built up over the past four decades.   His specific oil and gas experience includes his role as Vice Chairman and Non-Executive Director of FTSE 250 Essar Energy plc, an integrated energy company, where he is also Chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee and his former roles as Chairman of FTSE 100 Glencore International Plc, where he oversaw the IPO of the company on the Main Market, and as an Advisory Board Member of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Simon was the long term Managing Director of Hutchinson Whampoa, a Fortune Global 500 Company, where he expanded Hutchinson Whampoa's energy interests with the acquisition of one of Canada's largest integrated energy companies, Husky Oil. 


Mr Murray's current roles include positions as Non-Executive Director of Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd, one of the largest listed companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Chairman of GEMS Limited. He is a former Non-Executive Director of Vodafone, another FTSE 100 company and previous Executive Chairman of Deutsche Bank Group for Asia Pacific. He is a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.


The Company is continuing the search process for at least one other Independent Non-Executive Director with the assistance of Odgers Berndtson, one of the UK's pre-eminent executive search firms, and a further announcement on that process will be made in due course.


Commenting on the appointment Todd Kozel, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Keystone, said:

"I am delighted to welcome Simon to the Board.Simon's wealth of international business experience, particularly his experience in listing and chairing a FTSE 100 company, will be invaluable in leading our migration from AIM to the Main Market as we transition into the next phase of the Company's development and become a significant oil producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq."


Simon's appointment has been positively endorsed in discussions with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the entire team are looking forward to working with Simon, as Gulf Keystone continues to build on its track record of success."


Simon Murray, Non-Executive Chairman of Gulf Keystone, commented:

"Todd and his team have done a great job building Gulf Keystone from a small exploration company into a multi-billion dollar company.  The recent approval of the Shaikan Field Development Plan, one of currently only three in the region, is a testament to his strong relationships with key stakeholders in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq." 


As Gulf Keystone continues to expand and moves into the production phase at its world class Shaikan field, I look forward to being able to utilise my experience and expertise in assisting the Board with its strategic direction, especially in connection with the Company's planned move onto the Main Market later this year."


Pursuant to Schedule 2 paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules, the following information is disclosed:


Current Directorships

Past Directorships within the last five years

Essar Energy plc

Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd

IRC Limited

Asia Resources Fund Limited

Beryl Overseas Limited

Beyond Asia Holdings Ltd

Capital Way Holdings Limited

China Club (China Investment Incorporations) Ltd

China Incorporations Management

China Investment Incorporations (BVI) Limited

Diamond Creek International Limited

Eminent Bond Limited

Energy Success Investments Limited

GEMS III Limited

GEMS Investment Management Limited

GEMS Natural Resources Fund II (International) Ltd

GEMS Natural Resources Fund II Limited

General Enterprise Management Services (International) Limited

General Enterprise Management Services Limited

Greenheart Group Limited

Million Star Corporation

Morningstar Capital & Investment Ltd]

Orient Overseas (International) Ltd.

Poly Stone Holdings Limited

San Marino Telecom

Silver Heritage Limited

Simclan Ltd.

Simon Film Productions Limited

Simon Murray & Associates Limited

Simon Murray & Co. (Cayman) Limited

Simon Murray & Co. China Fund Limited

Simon Murray & Co. Limited

Simon Murray & Company (Hong Kong) Limited

Simon Murray (San Marino) Holdings Ltd

SMC China Fund SPC

SMC RMB General Partner I Limited

SMC RMB Investors I Limited

SMC RMB Investors II Limited

SMC RMB Investors III Limited

Tektite Overseas Limited

Ultragrand Limited

Wing Tai Properties Limited

Yarrum Limited

Vodafone Group plc

Arnhold Holdings Ltd.

Bemobile Limited

Bright Zone Enterprises Ltd

Clariden Limited

GEMS AAA Limited

GEMS Oriental And General Fund II Limited

GEMS Oriental And General Fund Limited

Glencore International plc

Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation

Guggenheim Investment Advisors (Europe) Ltd.

K.K. Jermyn Capital

Onyx Overseas Limited

Sapphire International Services Ltd

Simon Murray & Co. (Japan) Limited

Sino Forest Corporation

SMC (China) Capital Limited




Mr Murray was prosecuted by the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") in Hong Kong, in January 2002, for admitting to two breaches of the Securities (Disclosure of Interests) Ordinance for failing to report in a timely manner the purchase of 16,000 shares in Hutchison Whampoa Limited in June 2000, a company Mr Murray was a Non-Executive Director of at the time, and was fined a total of HK$8,000. However, the SFC did recognise that he had no intention to conceal the purchase and that the failure to report in a timely manner was the result of a breakdown in the personal arrangement which Mr Murray had specifically made for reporting share purchases.


Mr. Murray was a Non-Executive Director of Sino-Forest Corporation ("Sino-Forest"), a forest plantation operator with its headquarters in Hong Kong and its principal operations in the People's Republic of China.  Sino-Forest was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.  Following accusations of misconduct made against certain former members of management of Sino-Forest (not including Mr Murray), the company was unable to issue current financial reports, which were necessary to avoid defaults under the company's senior and convertible notes.  As a result, on 30 March 2012 Sino-Forest filed for creditor protection and to reorganize in Ontario, Canada, under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA").


On 10 December 2012, and with the overwhelming support of its creditors, the Ontario court approved a plan of compromise and reorganisation (the "Plan") under the CCAA, which took effect from 30 January 2013. The Plan involved the transfer of substantially all of Sino-Forest's assets, other than certain excluded assets, to a newly formed entity (Emerald Plantation Holdings Limited) owned by the affected creditors of Sino-Forest (the "SF Creditors"), in proportion to the amounts outstanding to each of the SF Creditors, in exchange for a release of the claims of the SF creditors against Sino-Forest and its subsidiaries.  The SF Creditors were comprised primarily of holders of approximately US$1.8 billion of outstanding senior and convertible notes issued by Sino-Forest and providers of other loans, amounting to approximately $70.5 million. The Plan also provided a mechanism by which Ernst & Young, Sino Forest's auditor, will pay C$117 million to shareholders and debt security holders of Sino-Forest.


There is no further information to be disclosed pursuant to Schedule 2 paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules,





Gulf Keystone Petroleum:

+44 (0)20 7514 1400

Todd Kozel, Chief Executive Officer

Simon Murray, Non-Executive Chairman

Anastasia Vvedenskaya, Investor Relations

Strand Hanson Limited

+44 (0)20 7409 3494

Stuart Faulkner / James Harris / Rory Murphy

Mirabaud Securities LLP

+44 (0)20 7878 3362

Peter Krens

Pelham Bell Pottinger

+44 (0)20 7861 3232

Mark Antelme / Henry Lerwill


or visit: 


Notes to Editors:

§ Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. (AIM: GKP) is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on exploration in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

§ Gulf Keystone Petroleum International (GKPI) holds Production Sharing Contracts for four exploration blocks in Kurdistan, including the Shaikan, Sheikh Adi, Ber Bahr and Akri-Bijeel blocks.

§ GKPI is the Operator of the Shaikan Block, which is a major commercial discovery, with a working interest of 75% and is partnered with Kalegran Ltd. (a 100% subsidiary of MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas plc.) and Texas Keystone Inc., which have working interests of 20% and 5% respectively.  Texas Keystone Inc. holds its interest in trust for Gulf Keystone, pending transfer of its interest to the Company.

§ Gulf Keystone is moving into the large-scale phased development of the Shaikan field targeting 150,000 barrels of oil per day of production within three years, following the approval of the Shaikan Field Development Plan, announced on 26 June 2013.





Not for release, publication or distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States or jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom and Bermuda where to do so would constitute a contravention of the relevant laws of such jurisdiction.  This announcement(and the information contained herein) does not contain or constitute an offer of securities for sale, or solicitation of an offer to purchase securities, in the United States or jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom and Bermuda where to do so would constitute a contravention of the relevant laws of such jurisdiction. The securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and may not be offered or sold in the United States unless the securities are registered under the Securities Act, or an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act is available.  No public offering of the securities will be made in the United States.

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