ERBIL, Iraq, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- An analysis of the Sheik Adi oil reserve in the Kurdish region of Iraq estimates there are at least 1 billion barrels of oil in place, a company said.
Gulf Keystone announced that a preliminary independent report of Sheik Adi reserves suggests there are 1 billion-3 billion barrels of oil there, one of the largest discoveries in the country.
Gulf Keystone Chief Operating Officer John Gerstenlauer said the estimate verified the company's ambitious outlook about the reserve potential in northern Iraq.
"This report reinforces our belief in having encountered yet another potential world-class oil source," he said in a statement.
The London-listed company announced early this year it was preparing for oil exports from the Kurdish provinces of Iraq following a lengthy political spat with the central government in Baghdad.
Iraq plans to boost production to as much as 12 million bpd by 2017. Kurdish exports through the Iraqi federal oil ministry are expected to increase from around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 200,000 barrels by the end of the year.
Gulf Keystone owns an 80 percent interest in Sheik Adi, with the regional government holding the remaining shares.