By John Lee.
ShaMaran Petroleum has announced that the Atrush partners have received approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the first phase in the development of the Atrush Block.
The TAQA-operated Block, located 85 km northwest of Erbil, is expected to initially produce approximately 30,000 barrels of gross oil per day (bpd) with first oil expected by early 2015.
The group plans to invest more than $300 million in Phase I in drilling three production wells and the construction of a central processing facility. Operator TAQA and its partners have an active drilling program on the Atrush Block and are continuing to appraise the area for further development.
Subject to the outcome of this appraisal and KRG approval, the Phase 2 development is expected to include another 30,000 bpd production facility. TAQA and its partners will also evaluate the feasibility of producing associated natural gas for delivery to the domestic market.
Discovered in 2011, the Atrush field is expected to provide long-term benefits to the region and the community. The approval of the Field Development Plan by the KRG provides for a 25-year period during which TAQA and its partners expect to maximise recovery of the oil resources.
TAQA, the Operator, is currently preparing to drill the fourth well on the Atrush block.
Pradeep Kabra (pictured), President and CEO of ShaMaran, commented:
"We are pleased to receive Ministry approval for Phase 1 of the Atrush field with a October 1, 2013 effective date for the commencement of the Development Period (pursuant to Clause 12.9 of the PSC). The partnership is working very closely with the KRG to fast-track first oil."
David Cook, Executive Officer and Head of Oil & Gas at TAQA, said:
“The Kurdistan region of Iraq is an exciting exploration frontier and has tremendous potential ... Through the Atrush development, TAQA is delighted to be part of the economic progress and growth in the region.
“It is our ambition to build an integrated business in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq including potential power and water projects in addition to oil and gas infrastructure developments.”
The Atrush Block is operated by TAQA Atrush B.V., a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC which holds a 39.9% working interest in the Block. ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. holds a 20.1% working interest through its wholly owned subsidiary, ShaMaran Ventures BV (100% owner of General Exploration Partners, Inc.).
Marathon Oil KDV B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), holds a 15% interest in the block. Subsequent to their back-in the Government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq holds a 25% working interest.
(Source: ShaMaran, TAQA)