Gulf Keystone Petroleum has announced that the Field Development Plan for the Shaikan field, a "world class commercial discovery", is now approved.
Todd F. Kozel (pictured), Chairman and CEO of Gulf Keystone, commented:
"This is an historic moment in the evolution of the Company. Gulf Keystone is now fully permitted to commence production from the Shaikan field and this represents a key milestone in the Company's growth.
"We have been a pioneer in the region from the outset and this milestone reconfirms our pioneering spirit and our desire to lead the upstream oil industry in Kurdistan.
"The initial production capacity will start in the coming weeks, steadily increasing to 20,000 barrels oil per day (bopd) and then quickly progressing to 40,000 bopd on the completion of the second production facility. This will increase to 150,000 bopd within 3 years and 250,000 bopd by 2018.
"This is an enormous achievement by the GKP team who have worked so long and hard to achieve this goal and have forged such strong links within the Kurdistan Region, at all levels."
A spokesman of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq said:
"Gulf Keystone has done outstanding work during the exploration phase, exceeding its minimum contractual requirements from two wells to seven wells, and making substantial progress in defining and delineating the Shaikan field."
Production from the Shaikan block will play a crucial role in helping the Kurdistan Region to achieve its overall oil export targets of one million barrels per day by the end of 2015, and two million barrels per day by the end of the decade."
The MNR spokesman added:
"The Ministry of Natural Resources looks forward to working with Gulf Keystone, and its partner in the block Kalegran, to continue to achieve Shaikan's production targets."