LONDON -- The shares of Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE:GKP) gained 0.5 pence to 150.5 pence this morning after the oil group provided an update on its planned move to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange.

Gulf Keystone said it would initially make an application for its shares to be admitted to the Standard Segment of the Official List.

The firm also said it intended to apply for a Premium Segment listing when it met all the necessary regulatory requirements.

Companies admitted to the Standard Segment of the LSE's Official List do not have to comply with certain eligibility requirements, such as demonstrating an acceptable three-year trading record, and do not have to abide by certain rules concerning significant and related-party transactions.

As part of the transition to the Official List, Gulf Keystone announced today that it had decided to split the roles of chairman and chief executive.

The group confirmed a search process had commenced for an independent non-executive chairman, as well as for at least one other independent non-executive director.

Todd Kozel, Gulf Keystone's current executive chairman and chief executive, said: "AIM has served Gulf Keystone well. However, for some time we have been of a size where we would be better suited to the Main Market. Consequently the splitting of my role as CEO with that of an Independent Non-Executive Chairman further signals Gulf Keystone's continuing commitment to high standards of corporate governance in preparation for our previously announced proposed move to the Official List."

Gulf Keystone has been trading on AIM, the LSE's junior market, since September 2004. Its market cap has since grown from £122 million to £1.2 billion after the company discovered up to 15 billion barrels of oil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

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