Norway's DNO International reported Tuesday that it has struck oil at it Bekhme target in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
DNO's Benenan-3 well hit the Bekhme formation at a depth of approximately 6,560 feet, where the company said it encountered "movable oil". It added that testing is ongoing to acquire additional data.
Benenan-3 is the start of a multi-well development of the Benenan field in Kurdistan's Erbil license. Following the completion of the well, the rig will be mobilized to drill the Bastora-2 development well in the adjacent Bastora field, which is also in the Erbil license.
Elsewhere in Kurdistan, DNO reported that the Tawke-18 well at its Tawke field in the north of the region is drilling ahead at 7,875 feet. This well is designed to increase Cretaceous production and test an exploration target below the main field-bounding fault.
"Through these wells and others planned next year, the Company is targeting in excess of 500 million barrels of gross unrisked oil and gas reserves, predominantly in Kurdistan," said DNO International Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani.
DNO was the first company in northern Iraq to export oil from the Tawke field in 2009, and in 2011 it achieved production of 75,000 barrels of oil per day.
Oil exploration and production in Kurdistan has proved highly controversial since the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) began awarding licenses to foreign firms soon after the regime of Saddam Hussein was toppled by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Iraqi Oil Ministry continues to refuse to recognize deals made between the KRG and foreign oil firms.
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