Last month, the London-listed energy company said it might need another pipeline to get oil from its Shaikan field in northern Iraq. The company aims to produce 15,000 barrels per day by the end of the year.
John Gerstenlauer, chief operating officer at Gulf Keystone, said, in a statement, that appraisal well Shaikan-5 is the ninth to be drilled in the region in the span of 30 months.
"The spudding of the Shaikan-5 well is in line with Gulf Keystone's stated strategy to realize the full potential of the giant Shaikan field, to prove up our existing discoveries and to drill new ones in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq," he said.
The company said an audit of the discovery found oil-in-place volumes of between 4.9 billion barrels and 10.8 billion barrels of oil.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum announced last week it was ready to start shipping oil from assets in northern Iraq during the first half of 2012.