DNO boasts new oil discovery in Iraqi Kurdistan

Oil strike at Erbil block continues as company resumes oil exports

Benenan-3 well in the company?s Erbil license area has encountered movable oil.
Benenan-3 well in the company?s Erbil license area has encountered movable oil.

Norwegian oil company DNO has reported an oil strike in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where it is a major producer.

“The Benenan-3 well currently drilling in the Kurdistan region of Iraq has encountered movable oil in the Bekhme formation at a depth of around 2,000 meters,” said DNO in a company statement. “Testing is ongoing to acquire additional data.”

The Benenan-3 well is in the company’s Erbil license area. The production sharing contract allocates a 4% stake to DNO, which operates the block, with Khalakan Gas Plus holding 40% and the regional government retaining a 20% stake.

"Through these wells and others planned next year, the Company is targeting in excess of 500 million barrels of gross unrisked oil and gas reserves, predominantly in Kurdistan," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO International's Executive Chairman. "Our drilling campaign is aggressive, it is balanced between exploration and development and it is consequential," he added.

Following Benenan-3, DNO says the rig will be mobilized to drill the Bastora-2 development well in the adjacent Bastora field, also in the Erbil license. Bastora-1, the first horizontal well completed in Kurdistan, is producing from the Bekhme formation under long-term test in preparation for full field development.

DNO has resumed exports of around 40,000 barrels a day from the Kurdish region under an initiative which the regional government’s oil ministry says aims to promote reconciliation with Baghdad over oil policy. If no détente is reched by 15 September DNO is expected to receive instructions to cease exports, restricting its sales options to the domestic market where oil prices are around half of international market rates.

The company’s production enhancement program at the Tawke block continues, with its 19th well slated for drilling in October. DNO aims to boost production capacity at Tawke by 100,000 barrels a day.



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