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Gulf Keystone Spuds Shaikan-10 Well in Iraq

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Gulf Keystone, an independent exploration and production operator in Kurdistan, Iraq, announced that the company has commenced its development drilling program with the spudding of Shaikan-10. In parallel, production operations from the newly commissioned Shaikan production facility (PF-1) are scheduled to commence shortly.

Shaikan-10 to launch aggressive development drilling campaign

Shaikan-10, the company's first development well, spud July 5, launching a development drilling campaign as part of the approved phased development of the Shaikan field, which Gulf Keystone operates. The well is being drilled with the Weatherford 842 rig, which previously drilled Shaikan-8, also part of the agreed phased development. This rig also drilled the Shaikan-1 discovery well in 2009 and the Bijell-1 discovery well in 2010.

Shaikan-10 will be followed by a minimum 3-rig development and production drilling program, which will commence in early 2014.

Shaikan-10 is intended to become a production well and is to be tied to the second Shaikan production facility (PF-2), which is currently under construction. Analogous to PF-1, it is of modular design and its production capacity will be of 20,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Shaikan-2 and -5, already completed as production wells, will also be tied to PF-2.

PF-1, which has now been completed and commissioned, when combined with PF-2 later in the year, will allow the company to achieve its immediate short-term production target of 40,000 bopd.

Commenting on the announcement, John Gerstenlauer, chief operating officer, said:

"It is a recognized fact that Gulf Keystone has done outstanding work during the exploration phase and we continue targeting significant exploration upside of the Shaikan field with Shaikan-7, which is currently being drilled.

Our next immediate target is to complete the company's transition from an exploration to a key producer in the Kurdistan Region in 2013. The spudding of Shaikan-10 is yet another step in the right direction.

The implementation of our Field Development Plan has started and we will shortly commence production from one of the world's largest onshore conventional oil and gas developments. Focusing on our production milestones agreed with the Ministry of Natural Resources, we are working hard to get to 40,000 bopd of Shaikan production from PF-1 and PF-2, and then to progress to 150,000 bopd within 3 years and 250,000 bopd within 5 years."

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