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 DNO International boss keeps mum over Kurdish threat

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DNO International boss keeps mum over Kurdish threat  28.9.2009   

September 28, 2009

OSLO, Norway,— DNO International boss Helge Eide has refused to speculate on the chances of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) officials stripping the Norwegian player of its production sharing cotracts in the Iraqi region.

Eide also told a press conference this morning that the Tawke oilfield is pumping between 6000 and 8000 barrels per day for local customers after the row with the KRG shut its exports.

DNO International boss Helge Eide is under pressure
Last Monday, the KRG suspended DNO's operations in the region for six weeks - and may revoke the company's licences - after the release of details of a 2008 stock deal between the KRG and DNO.

Meanwhile, a senior KRG official said the government did not benefit from trading DNO shares and is seeking full disclosure of the deal.

"We haven't made any financial gain at all, it's more of a headache for us now," Khalid Salih, in Oslo to put forward the KRG's position in the dispute, said at a press conference yesterday.

The KRG said the release of details of the deal caused it "unjustifiable and incalculable harm" and accused the Oslo Stock Exchange of revealing selective information about the deals that painted the Kurdish authorities in a bad light.

"The Oslo Stock Exchange was selective with their information and should have asked us to clarify right from the start, instead of speculating who may be behind the deals," Salih, who hopes to meet with bourse officials today, said.

"We want complete disclosure and a fair and transparent process. We need to see it rectify the damage done to us," he told Reuters.

The Oslo Stock Exchange has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

DNO has threatened to sue the bourse and move its listing to another exchange, an idea welcomed by Salih as part of a solution.

"If DNO wanted to (delist from Oslo), we would certainly support them because obviously there is a problem in their relationship with the stock exchange," he said.

"As far as KRG is concerned, that would be a very good solution for us."

The share deal, in October last year, saw 44 million DNO shares sold to the KRG before ending up in the hands of privately-held Turkish company Genel Enerji,
www.ekurd.netwhich is in the process of merging with Heritage Oil.

"At this stage we are not in a position to say what we will be satisfied with, because we need to understand more. We need to have dialogue with the Oslo Stock Exchange to see why they have behaved the way they did," said Salih.

At a news conference on Sunday, Salih showed bank documents and emails he said proved the KRG did not use its potential knowledge of key regulatory developments for DNO when trading its shares.

Norway's financial sector watchdog has asked for an investigation of the transactions by the Norwegian police.

Salih said the KRG bought the DNO shares in October 2008 as a middleman on behalf of Genel to help both companies at a time when financing was tough and they did not have export permits.

"The gains and losses (on the trades) are Genel's," he added.

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