UK-listed oil firm, Genel Energy has increased its stake in the Bina Bawi exploration block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to 44 per cent, just days after acquiring its first interest in the block.

The company agreed to acquire an additional 21 per cent interest in the block from the US’ Hawler Energy for $240m, according to a 6 August statement.

This is in addition to the Genel Energy’s initial acquisition of a 23 per cent interest in the block on 3 August from A&T Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of Turkey’s Petoil Petroleum and Petroleum Products International Exploration and Production.

Austria’s OMV holds a 36 per cent operator’s stake in Bina Bawi, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) retains 20 per cent. The block covers an area of 240 square kilometres adjacent to the Taq Taq oil field, in which Genel has a 44 per cent stake.

Three exploration wells have been drilled at Bina Bawi so far and two further appraisal wells are planned this year. Genel Energy estimates the block contains between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.