More oil potential from Kurdish north of Iraq

Oryx Petroleum said it's planning more drilling and development.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Jan. 10, 2017 at 9:09 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The Kurdish north of Iraq continued to show its oil potential after a driller said operations were paving the way for additional exports.

Oryx Petroleum Corp., a Canadian company focused on Kurdish oil, said it was making progress on appraisal and initial development of its Zey Gawra field after completing new drilling operations. Oil is flowing naturally from some wells at a rate of about 1,500 barrels per day.

Vance Queria, the company's CEO, said the completed new wells added to exports already under way from the site.

"Preparations are underway to drill the third well in the appraisal and initial development of the Zey Gawra field before the middle of this year," he said in a statement.

Crude oil from the Zey Gawra field is hauled by tanker to a terminal that feeds into export pipelines from the Kurdish north.

The report from Oryx follows an operational update from Norwegian energy company DNO, which said Monday that testing from the Peshkabir-2 well in the Kurdish north yielded about 3,800 bpd. The company said the well was planned for 2015, but lower crude oil prices and delayed payments from the Kurdish government caused planning setbacks.

Crude oil prices dropped below $30 per barrel in early 2016, but have held above the $50 mark since late last year. The low price of crude oil limited revenue streams for exploration and production, but DNO said the market was showing signs of recovery.

The rebound in crude oil prices followed an agreement in November by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to limit output starting in January. Iraq agreed to cut about 210,000 bpd from its production, though the central government in Baghdad said the semiautonomous Kurdish government wasn't doing its share.

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