Genel Energy waits for Kurdistan cheque before continuing oil exploration

Genel stuck by its forecasts for full-year revenues of $350m-$400m

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Genel Energy has called a halt to oil exploration work for the rest of the year while it awaits $400m (£257m) of payments due from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The oil explorer also confirmed on Monday that Tony Hayward, the former BP chief executive, is snubbing corporate governance rules by stepping up to become chairman of the FTSE 250 oil producer.

Mr Hayward has been chief executive of the company that he founded in 2011 with financier Nat Rothschild. His change of role follows the departure of Rodney Chase as chairman after four years leading the board.

City rules do not explicitly prevent chief executives from becoming chairmen of the same company, but they discourage it. Mr Hayward is also chairman of the commodities giant Glencore.

Genel stuck by its forecasts for full-year revenues of $350m-$400m. The halt on exploration will save the company about $50m, cutting its capital expenditure this year to $150m-$200m.

Mr Hayward is being replaced as chief executive by Murat Ozgul, currently the head of Genel’s operations in its core business in Turkey and Kurdistan. Five years ago Mr Ozgul was fined £105,240 by the Financial Services Authority for insider trading in London-listed Heritage Oil. At the time, the FSA said that it recognised that he had not set out to commit market abuse.

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