By John Lee.
As part of its operational update yesterday, Petroceltic gave an update on its operations in Iraqi Kurdistan:
An active exploration and development programme is scheduled for 2013 with a capital expenditure budget of US$150 million. Exploration drilling and seismic acquisition accounts for approximately 43 percent of the budget with the balance committed to development activities. The overall 2013 programme is summarised as follows:
In Kurdistan, the principal 2013 activity will comprise the drilling of the Shakrok anticline on the Shakrok licence where seismic operations are now complete, with processing ongoing. This prospect, for which a rig has already been contracted, has a scheduled spud date of July 2013 and anticipated duration of approximately 5 months.
There will also be significant work on the Dinarta Block, where seismic activities are expected to resume by April 2013 with a view to finalising a prospect for late 2013 drilling. Rig tendering for a second rig is complete and a rig contract is close to finalisation.
Brian O'Cathain (pictured), Chief Executive of Petroceltic commented:
"Today's announcement clearly demonstrates the scale and diversity of the Petroceltic business following the merger with Melrose Resources in October 2012. Our business is now generating strong cash flows, undertaking active exploration in five countries and moving into development of the world class Ain Tsila gas-condensate project. We anticipate an exciting year ahead, with a sustained exploration drilling program which offers exposure to a diversified portfolio of prospects including the company's first well in Kurdistan."