Gulf Keystone has announced exploration updates from its ongoing exploration and appraisal programme in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The programme includes the Shaikan block, a major discovery with independently audited gross oil-in-place volumes of between 8 billion barrels and 13.4 billion barrels.
Following the conclusion of the Shaikan-4 well testing programme, the appraisal well, which was drilled 6km to the west of the Shaikan-1 discovery well, will be completed as a producer and tied to the Shaikan-1 and Shaikan-3 extended well test facility.
The Discoverer-4 rig will be moved from Shaikan-4 to the Sheikh Adi block, where the Sheikh Adi-2 exploration well will be spud in June 2012, when results of the Ber Bahr-1 testing programme are also expected.
In the Shaikan-5 appraisal well, preliminary well logs indicate a continuous oil column in the Jurassic level and hydrocarbon presence in the Triassic Kurre Chine-A and Kurre Chine-B.
Meanwhile, the Shaikan-6 appraisal well, 9km to the east of the Shaikan-2 appraisal well, has been drilled to a depth of 3,455m in the Kurre Chine-B formation in the Triassic level, where casing has been set.
A preliminary evaluation of the comprehensive logging suite indicates a continuous oil column in the Jurassic Barsarin, Sargelu, Alan and Mus formations and extending into the Butmah formation.
John Gerstenlauer, Gulf Keystone chief operating officer, said the company's operations are progressing across the four blocks in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
"In addition to the outstanding 24,000 bopd results achieved with the Shaikan-4 appraisal well, Shaikan-6 has cored oil 150m below what we previously assumed to be Jurassic oil/water contact level for Shaikan," added Gerstenlauer.
"Stable output from the Shaikan extended well test has now surpassed our initial target of 5,000 bopd and is set to increase, with work underway to upgrade the existing extended well test (EWT) facility and design and construct a new facility for Shaikan-2."
The company said that output from the Shaikan-1 and 3 EWT facility has reached 442,592 gross barrels of oil, with 187,884 and 156,428 barrels of oil being produced in March and April 2012, respectively.
Gulf Keystone is now undertaking a technical evaluation of the tender bids for the Shaikan field export pipeline and bids are currently being received as part of the ongoing tender process for the pipeline site construction and installation.