Tony Hayward, Chairman of Glencore and Genel Energy responds to questions during a panel debate at the Institute of Directors annual convention in London, Britain, September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Excited tales about how Kurdistan was one of the cheapest places on earth to pump crude grabbed the attention of big energy groups such as ExxonMobil as well as small oil explorers including London-listed Genel Energy, which Mr Hayward chairs.Following the oil price crash that began about two and a half years ago, and as the militant group Isis took control of swaths of Iraq, oil majors' attention switched away from Kurdistan to locations of low-cost crude that were not affected by the same security issues and political complexities.Al Stanton, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, says: "When people first started looking at the area ... the oil price was higher, people were willing to take on a bit more risk if there was a bit more reward.The Kurdistan oil producers that toughed it out, however, are hoping the partial recovery in crude prices may herald a brighter future.Companies rely on payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government for the oil that they export.As a result, oil producers are owed hundreds of millions of dollars by the KRG.But payments from the KRG were more regular last year.
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