London-listed Gulf Keystone has launched an offering of convertible bonds seeking some $200m in additional funds for several exploration and development plans across in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The plans include the completion and submission of a field development plan for the Shaikan field by the end of January, according to a 4 October company statement.

The bonds are due in October 2017, while the closing and settlement for the bonds are expected on 18 October 2012. France’s BNP Paribas is acting as the sole bookrunner and lead manager of the offering.

The block was declared a commercial discovery in August this year, and Gulf Keystone is now pursuing an aggressive approach to exploration and appraisal for three other blocks in the region: Akri-Bijeel; Sheikh Adi; and Ber Bahr.

Gulf Keystone is currently commissioning two new early production facilities (EPF-1 and EPF-2), which will allow the production of 40,000 barrels a day (b/d) by the middle of 2013. The company hopes to produce as much as 150,000 b/d from the field by 2015.

EPF-1 and EPF-2 will be equipped with an amine unit to sweeten the associated gas produced at the field. The company says there is also the potential for the addition of a sulphur recovery unit, which would allow gas to be transmitted to a planned gas pipeline nearby.

The development of the field will also require in-field infrastructure, including flowlines and wellhead separators connecting the wells to the EPFs.

Gulf Keystone is the operator of the Shaikan Block with a working interest of 75 per cent, along with Kalegran Limited, a subsidiary of Hungary’s MOL, with 20 per cent and the US’ Texas Keystone with 5 per cent.