Gulf Keystone has announced the commencement of drilling operations on its Sheikh Adi-1 exploration well effective August 4, 2010. This is the first exploration well to be drilled on the Sheikh Adi Block immediately to the west of the Company's Shaikan Block, site of last year's discovery of the giant Shaikan oil field. The Company has an 80 percent working interest in the Block and is carrying the Kurdistan Regional Government's 20 percent working interest.
The well design for Sheikh Adi-1 has been modified to drill through the geopressured sections of the Triassic. This high pressure interval forced the cessation of drilling on Shaikan-1, at the point when the well experienced the inflow of significant volumes of oil and gas from this section of the Triassic. The Sheikh Adi-1 is designed to drill through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and the Triassic age rocks, to a planned total depth, depending on well results, of 3,850 meters. Drilling is expected to take 6 months. The Company's estimated oil-in-place resource potential for the Sheikh Adi structure is in excess of one billion barrels.