Hungarian MOL could start test production
in Iraq's Kurdistan region as soon as 2012
BUDAPEST, — Hungarian oil and gas company MOL
sees big opportunities in the Akri-Bijeel and
Shaikan blocks in the Kurdistan region of Iraq:
several exploration wells have been drilled
successfully and test production could start at one
of the wells as soon as next year.
The Akri-Bijeel block has about 2.5 billion barrels
of oil equivalent (BOE) of which at least 20-30% can
If the field were to produce 50m barrels it would be
a success, according to experts. In Hungary,
production of 1m barrels is already excellent.
The find in the Shaikan block is also outstanding
and could prove to be even bigger than that in the
Hungarian MOL could start test production in Iraq's
Kurdistan region of Iraq as soon as 2012.
Drilling in the blocks
is expensive: the cost of a single well can reach
USD 20m-40m. Three exploration wells will be drilled
in the Akri-Bijeel block by the third quarter of
2012, and at least six more wells are planned.
For MOL, the Akri-Bijeel block bears more importance
as the company owns a bigger share in it than in the
Shaikan block. MOL is also directing the drilling in
the Akri-Bijeel block.
MOL decided to acquire the two blocks in 2007, after
long negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional
MOL owns rights to 80% of the 889-square-kilometre
Akri-Bijeel block and Gulf Keystone Petroleum
International holds 20%. It completed the first
exploration well there at the end of 2010. In the
last phase of the test,www.ekurd.netthe
well produced 3,743 barrels of oil per day (BOPD)
and 99 BOE of gas.
MOL started drilling the second exploration well in
the block at the end of March.
MOL owns a 20% stake of the 283-square-kilometre
Shaikan block. Its partners are Gulf Keystone
Petroleum, the block's operator, and Texas Keystone.
The Shaikan-1 well, drilled last November, produced
more than 4,600 BOPD. The Shaikan-2 well, drilled in
March of this year, produced more than 8,000 BOPD
and a daily 393 BOE, but MOL expects output to be
higher in the production phase. The Shaikan-3 well
produced 9,800 BOPD.
MOL also owns a 10% stake in Pearl Petroleum, a
project company that has exploration and production
rights for two other blocks in the Kurdistan region
of Iraq: the 299-square-kilometre Khor Mor block and
the 1,169-square-kilometre Chemchemal block.
Production of gas and condensate and exploration are
underway at the Khor Mor block. Exploration work is
ongoing at the Chemchemal block. MOL's partners in
Pearl are OMV (10%), Crescent Petroleum (40%) and
Dana Gas (40%). MOL acquired its stake in the
venture two years ago.
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