Shares in Afren, the oil exploration company with interests in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, were up nearly 5% in early trading on the London markets following the announcement of full-yer results:
The results included the following statement on operations in Kurdistan:
Kurdistan Region of Iraq - a world class petroleum play
2011 saw the Group expand its geographic footprint to encompass the Kurdistan region of Iraq, through the acquisition of a 60% participating interest in the Barda Rash PSC and 20% participating interest in the Ain Sifni PSC. The Kurdistan region of Iraq represents an attractive upstream opportunity set for Afren. The region is geologically, part of the world's most prolific petroleum system, the Zagros Fold Belt trend. This extends across all of the Middle East's most productive regions and accounts for 60% of the world's proved oil and gas reserves.
The Kurdistan region of Iraq is a heavily under-explored component of this play, with only a small portion of licensed acreage and limited number of mapped prospects having been drilled to date. Despite this, drilling results so far have yielded exploration success rates in excess of 70% and discovery rates of over 200 million barrels per well. This justifies its status as a fast emerging region of global oil and gas importance. Estimates for 'yet to find' resources in the region are substantial, ranging from 40 billion to 70 billion barrels. This potential has not gone unnoticed, with the region continuing to attract the attention of the global oil Majors as competition for acreage intensifies.