Rosneft group started drilling of the first exploration well at Block(12) in the Republic of Iraq, Your Oil and Gas News reported.

According to Energy-pedia, the Salman-1 well will be drilled to a measured depth of 4,245 meters through the Kurra Chine target horizon to be followed by further testing of five prospective targets. The company plans to complete drilling in July 2017.

The prospective oil-bearing Block 12 is located in the Najaf and Muthanna provinces, approximately 80km to the southwest of the city of Samawa and 130km to the west of the city of Nasriya. The Block is a part of the Western Desert, an unexplored region having the biggest oil potential in Iraq. It has an area of 7,680km². Exploration works on Block 12 are considered ‘low risk’ due to its prospects.

Iraq has huge proved and undeveloped oil resources, so exploration in the country is an important step in implementing the Rosneft strategy to expand competences in the area of hydrocarbon exploration and production outside of Russia.

Rosneft group acts as the operator of the exploration and development of Block 12. China based company Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group (ZPEC) is the general drilling contractor.