x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kurdistan oil strike delivers barrels by the million

Gulf Keystone Petroleum may have found up to six times as much oil in Iraqi Kurdistan as it originally thought.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum may have found up to six times as much oil in Iraqi Kurdistan as it originally thought, making its oil strike the second multibillion barrel discovery in the region this year. After encountering more oil while drilling its Shaikan-1 test well deeper, the British company said it revised its estimate of oil in place to between 1.5 billion and 3 billion barrels. That is up from the 300 million and 500 million barrel estimate it made earlier this month, and could translate to as much as 2 billion barrels of recoverable crude.

"The Shaikan-1 is proving to be a value-transforming discovery for Gulf Keystone," said Todd Kozel, the executive chairman of the company. "Even at this early stage, the commerciality of this discovery is substantially strengthened." Heritage Oil, the Canadian oil explorer that is merging with Turkey's Genel Enerji, announced in May that it found a giant oilfield in Kurdistan containing up to 3 billion barrels of recoverable crude.

Kurdistan, a semiautonomous region in northeastern Iraq, is one of the few jurisdictions with substantial untapped oil reserves that encourages junior oil companies to come and explore. tcarlisle@thenational.ae