DNO International ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas company, announced today that it has completed drilling of the Peshkabir-1 exploration well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and is preparing to test observed oil shows across three potentially producing intervals. Full and sidewall cores suggest a continuous hydrodynamic column within the Cretaceous interval and the additional shows in the Jurassic and Triassic intervals are the first encountered by the Company at lower depths in the Tawke license.
The Peshkabir-1 well was designed to probe a large undrilled feature west of the currently producing Tawke field. It reached total depth of 4,092 metres, the deepest well yet for the Company in Iraq. The well was spudded in September 2011. Wireline logging and coring operations are underway and will be followed by a minimum of five planned flow tests, two in the Triassic, one in the Jurassic and two in the Cretaceous.
In providing further updates on drilling and other operations across its portfolio, the Company announced that the Tawke-15 well, drilled and completed in the Cretaceous in 2011 but previously shut in due to low productivity, has now tested 7,000 barrels of oil per day following a just-completed workover operation. The well has been connected to the existing pipeline and processing facilities, further boosting Tawke field deliverability.
A third well, the Tawke-14 well is drilling ahead of schedule at over 1,800 meters. The well is located within the northern flank of the field and is another of the planned 2012 wells designed to confirm and delineate the potential of the Cretaceous in an untested up-structure location. The well is expected to reach a total depth of 2,665 meters in the second quarter of 2012.
"We continue on track to establish 100,000 barrels per day of deliverability from the Tawke license before year end," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO International's Executive Chairman. "And we remain confident that in time we will be in a position to place more and more of this oil in both regional and international markets."
DNO International is operator of the Tawke field with a 55 percent working interest, with Genel Energy holding a 25 percent working interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government a 20 percent working interest.
Elsewhere, in Oman Block 8 the West Bukha-5 development well has been drilled to a depth of 4,213 meters, approximately 200 meters above the top of the target Thamama reservoir. The Company's forward plan is to drill into the top of the target reservoir, install a 7-inch liner and drill a 600-meter horizontal section in the Thamama.
The Company's combined working interest production has increased following the merger with RAK Petroleum PCL's Middle East and North Africa assets in January 2012 and is expected to reach 40,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the first quarter of 2012, up from 34,600 boepd in the fourth quarter of 2011.
As previously reported, the portion of Tawke production that was delivered to the Iraqi national pipeline system for export through Turkey was halted on 2 April 2012. All other Tawke oil and refined product sales and field operations remain unaffected. The Company has no new information as to when and under what conditions exports might resume.
Offshore Oman, production from the Company's two operated fields is temporarily shut in as a result of blockage in the pipeline between the Bukha and West Bukha production platforms that occurred during routine pigging operations. Efforts are underway to resolve this situation but total downtime may be as much as four weeks.
The halt in export from the Tawke field in Kurdistan and the temporary closure of the Bukha and West Bukha platforms will result in lower production volumes in the second quarter of the year although overall cash from operations is currently not expected to be materially impacted.
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