WesternZagros Resources has announced its results for the period ended March 31, 2011, key highlights, and activities to date.
On May 31, 2011, WesternZagros made an oil discovery in the Jeribe Formation at the Sarqala-1 exploration well. The Company tested the well at rates up to 9,444 barrels per day of 40 degree API oil. This rate was reached after flowing and stabilizing the well at progressively bigger choke sizes until reaching the limits of the surface equipment. The final rate was achieved on a 52/64 inch choke with a wellhead pressure of 2,475 psi. No water was produced during this initial testing program. No stimulation was applied to the well but there remains the potential to do so at a later date. Efforts will now be directed toward evaluating and sourcing surface equipment and trucking facilities by the end of 2011 to start producing and selling oil during an extended well testing program.
Subsequent to March 31, 2011, the Company concluded negotiations with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq ("KRG") and Talisman (Block K44) B.V. ("Talisman") to amend the Production Sharing Contract ("the "Original PSC") that governs the Company's exploration activities in the Kalar-Bawanoor Block in Kurdistan. Once approved, the amendments will divide the contract area of the Original PSC into two contract areas, each under a separate PSC. The northern contract area (comprising some 340 square kilometres) will remain under an amended version of the Original PSC (the "Kurdamir PSC") and will be called the Kurdamir Block. The southern contract area (comprising some 1,780 square kilometres) will be governed under a new Garmian PSC and will be known as the Garmian Block. The Company is awaiting formal approval of both the Kurdamir and Garmian PSC's from the Oil and Gas Council of the KRG and execution of the PSC's by the KRG. The PSC's will extend the time available to complete the remaining first exploration sub-period work obligations to drill Mil Qasim-1 by December 31, 2011, and will add an additional well commitment to drill Kurdamir-2 by June 30, 2012. WesternZagros' 40 percent ownership and other economic terms will remain unchanged in both the Kurdamir PSC and the Garmian PSC.
Commenting on the first quarter results and subsequent events, WesternZagros Chief Executive Officer Simon Hatfield said:
"We are pleased with the negotiated amendments to the Original PSC to enable us to focus our efforts on our drilling operations over the next year. The Company is looking forward with great anticipation to evaluating the full potential of the Sarqala-1 oil discovery through an extended well testing program. We're proceeding with our target of discovering over one billion barrels of oil equivalent through drilling the next two wells at Mil Qasim-1 and Kurdamir-2."
Summary of Exploration Activities Completed and Exploration Opportunities Being Pursued
- WesternZagros began drilling the Kurdamir-1 well in May 2009, and announced a large Oligocene gas and condensate discovery in November 2009. The well reached a total depth of 4,077 metres in January 2010. Testing performed in December 2010 confirmed an oil column in the Oligocene reservoir at Kurdamir-1 beneath the gas cap. Technical analysis of the oil shows encountered in the well to date support oil potential in the Oligocene, Eocene and Cretaceous formations. Under the Kurdamir PSC, the Kurdamir-2 well will be required to be drilled by June 30, 2012 and it is expected to commence drilling in the fourth quarter of 2011.
- WesternZagros began drilling the Sarqala-1 well in May 2008 and suspended the well in early 2009. In March 2011, the Company re-entered the well and drilled a 100 metre sidetrack through the Jeribe Formation. The Company confirmed an oil discovery in the Jeribe Formation after flowing light, 40 degree API oil. Currently the Company is evaluating and preparing for an extended well test at Sarqala-1 by the end of 2011 including sourcing the required surface and trucking facilities to start producing and selling oil.
About Mil Qasim
- Mil Qasim is a structure, the crest of which lies approximately three kilometres from the Sarqala-1 well. Target reservoirs are Upper Fars sandstones, which are anticipated to be oil bearing. The Mil Qasim-1 well must be drilled by December 31, 2011 and it is expected to commence drilling in July 2011.
About Qulijan and Baran
- Qulijan and Baran are attractive prospects located close to the Kurdamir-1 discovery well. Both Qulijan and Baran are anticline structures with upside potential related to the fault that separates them from Kurdamir in the Oligocene, Eocene and Cretaceous Formations.