LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) – Gulf Keystone Petroleum, an oil producer in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, cut its annual pretax loss to $17 million last year after a debt-for-equity deal saved it from going under.

The oil company, which swapped $500 million of debt for equity in deal that diluted shareholders’ ownership to 5 percent, reduced its pretax loss from $213 million in 2015, its annual results statement showed on Thursday.

Gulf Keystone, which was worth $3 billion in its heyday around 2012, said it had a cash balance of $112.7 million as of Wednesday, meaning the company has enough money available to invest in increasing production at its flagship Shaikan oil field.

Annual production is expected to rise to between 32,000 and 38,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with an average of 34,794 bpd in 2016, the company said.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Holmes)

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