More oil expected from Kurdish territory in Iraq

Norwegian energy company DNO said it's on a fast-track to connect its assets to pipeline infrastructure for even more output next year.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Dec. 11, 2017 at 5:52 AM
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Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The completion of testing at a third production well in the Kurdish north of Iraq means oil production is expected to triple, Norwegian oil company DNO said.

"DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced a tripling of production from the Peshkabir field in the Tawke license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to 15,000 barrels of oil per day following completion of the Peshkabir-3 well testing, stimulation and cleanup program," the company said in a statement.

DNO is the operator at the Tawke and Peshkabir oil fields in the Kurdish north, which combine for production of around 110,000 bpd to date. The company said Monday preparations are under way to drill a fourth well in Peshkabir and its partners are on a fast-track plan to install pipeline infrastructure, which would facilitate even more output next year.

As of now, the Norwegian company is using temporary facilities to truck oil from its Kurdish assets across the northern border to Turkey for exports from the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

According to the latest data from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts, about 250,000 bpd leaves Kurdish territory as exports. That's down about half from before October, when the troops from the federal Iraqi government took control over the oil fields in Kirkuk,

The company in September assumed the role of operator after acquiring 50 percent of Exxon Mobil's stake in the Baeshiqa reserve area, but conceded that Exxon's early efforts were disrupted by security concerns related to the regional fight against the group calling itself the Islamic State.

Iraqi and Kurdish paramilitary forces engaged in battle in the weeks that followed a controversial Kurdish referendum for independence from federal Iraq. As Kurdish forces conceded contested territory, Iraqi troops seized control over the oil fields in Kirkuk, cutting off a revenue lifeline for the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

The Kurdish referendum coincided more or less with the liberation of parts of northern Iraq from the Islamic State. Last week, the government in Baghdad said the entire country was now liberated from the terrorist group.

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