London-listed Genel Energy has splashed out $240 million cash on acquiring an additional 21% stake in the Bina Bawi block in Iraqi Kurdistan from US-based Hawler Energy.

The deal comes a week after the Kurdistan-focused explorer completed May’s acquisition of an initial 23% stake in the block from Turkey’s Petoil for $175 million.

Chief executive Tony Hayward said the increased stake furthered Genel Energy’s leading position in the region, with Bina Bawi adding to its Taq Taq and Tawke developments.

Operated by Austria’s OMV, Bina Bawi covers an area of 240 square kilometres to the east of Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Genel Energy has previously estimated that Bina Bawi holds contingent resources of between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent, with additional prospective upside.

When the deal, subject to approval, is completed, Genel Energy will hold a 44% working interest in the production sharing contract, with OMV on a 36% operatorship stake and the KRG holding the remaining 20%, carried by the contractors based on their shareholding.

Genel said two of the three wells drilled on the block to date had encountered significant hydrocarbons.

The most recent probe, Bina Bawi-3, hit a gross hydrocarbon column of more than 800 metres in the Jurassic zone.

The explorer said it is reviewing the results from Bina Bawi-3, with further possible targets potentially being identified and an extended well test eyed by the end of the year.

The block lies alongside Genel’s joint-operated Taq Taq field, where current potential output is about 80,000 barrels per day.