Dublin-based explorer Petroceltic has started drilling of the first probe in a multi-well exploration campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Shakrok-1 well, which is being drilled in the Shakrok licence, is targeting estimated proven and probable resources of 650 million barrels in Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs on a trend that has yielded earlier discoveries including Shaikan, Swara Tika, Atrush and Bina Bawi.

The probe is expected to take around 150 days to reached planned total depth of around 3000 metres.

London-listed Petroceltic holds a 16% interest in both the Shakrok and Dinarta production sharing contracts in the semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq, with US partner Hess on 64% and the Kurdistan Regional Government holding a 20%  carried interest.

Chief executive Brian O’Cathain said “a number of large exploration targets have been identified as the explorer spuds its first wells in the Kurdish play.

Furthermore, Petroceltic has spudded the Cobalcescu South well at its Est Cobalcescu block off Romania with estimated gross proven and probable prospective resources of more than 400 billion cubic feet of gas.

The shallow-water probe, part of a multi-well campaign targeting prospects identified by earlier 3D seismic, has a planned total depth of 3100 metres with an expected duration of around two months.

Petroceltic operates the licence with a 40% stake, with partners Beach Petroleum (30%) and Petromar Resources (30%), with a similar ownership split in its second Romanian concession Muridava.

Source: Upstream Online