LONDON, July 28 (UPI) -- London oil and natural gas explorer Afren announced it acquired two production-sharing contracts for work in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
The company said it was placing more than 80 million shares on the market to raise cash for the purchase of stakes in the Ain Sifni and Barda Rash fields in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Combined reserves from the fields are estimated at around 1 billion barrels.
Afren Chief Executive Officer Osman Shahenshah said in a statement the acquisition is consistent with his company's efforts to increase its recoverable reserve base by more than 700 percent.
"With a team in place, we expect to generate an incremental 75,000 barrels of oil per day net to Afren within five years from the Barda Rash field alone," he said.
Afren said the Kurdish region of Iraq is an attractive upstream investment opportunity. Undiscovered fields in the region could hold as much as 70 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The move follows recent breakthroughs in disputes between the Kurdish and central governments in Iraq regarding the country's oil sector.
U.S. oil and gas company Hess announced similar work in the Kurdish region earlier this week.