Genel Energy, an Anglo-Turkish company, announced that it reached a test rate of 11,950 barrels of oil per day from its first of five exploration wells in the Chia Surkh discovery area in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
Genel Energy Chief Executive Office Tony Hayward said drilling confirmed a "significant oil find" in the region. More wells were planned in the region to determine the extent of the discovery.
"We intend to carry out a rapid appraisal and development program and expect to have an early production scheme operating in the first half of 2014," he said in a statement.
Genel received permission Jan. 7 from the Kurdistan Regional Government to ship crude oil from the Taq Taq field by truck to Turkey. Export restrictions had been in place as a sign of growing frustration with the central Iraqi government over oil laws in the country.
Hayward told the BBC in March he was unfazed by the internal political dynamics in Iraq.
The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration states that Iraq produced, on average, 3 million barrels of oil per day. That puts it in the No. 2 position among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
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