The Kurdistan Regional Government has approved Maersk Oil’s acquisition of a 40% non-operating interest in the Piramagrun and Qala Dze production sharing contracts (PSC) from Repsol Oriente Medio. The Piramagrun and Qala Dze blocks are located approximately 150 km east of Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdistan.
Repsol will continue to operate exploration activities and also hold a 40% interest. The Kurdistan Regional Government will hold the remaining 20% share of each block. During 2012, Repsol undertook a significant 2D seismic acquisition program, which identified a number of drilling targets. In November 2013, work commenced on the Zewe-1 exploration well, and drilling in the Qala Dze PSC is expected to begin in the early part of 2014.
With over 7 billion bbl of recoverable oil discovered since 2004 and an estimated 40-45 billion bbl of prospective resources based on a 2000 US Geological Survey, Kurdistan is a highly prospective hydrocarbon region.
“Being present and active in one of the world’s most promising and prolific exploration basins is a fundamental part of Maersk Oil’s strategy,” Jakob Thomasen, CEO of Maersk Oil said. “We are on a journey to increase entitlement production to 400,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020. We expect our position in Kurdistan Region of Iraq to help us sustain the target production level beyond 2020.”
Maersk Oil has been present in the Sarsang block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since 2011 with its 30% shareholding of HKN Energy.