Petroceltic Confirms New Kurd Drill as it Awaits Further Shakrok Testing

Oil and gas junior Petroceltic International confirmed Thursday that drilling on its Shireen-1 well on the Dinarta license, Iraqi Kurdistan, is scheduled to begin within three-to-four weeks.

The well, which will target oil in both the Jurassic and Triassic layers, is expected to take around 150 days to reach its planned total depth. Gross prospective oil resources at the target have been estimated at some 706 million barrels.

The well comes under the operatorship of Hess, which holds a 64 percent stake. Petroceltic and the Kurdistan Regional Government hold 16 percent and 20 percent respectively.

In an operational update Thursday, Petroceltic said drill stem tests on Kurdistan's Shakrok-1 well, which was drilled in March, have been completed in the fractured carbonates of the Butmah formation. Both of these tests flowed formation water to the surface with no hydrocarbons. The plan now is to proceed with the testing program and run two further DSTs in the overlying Adaiyah and Mus intervals, with testing operations set to continue until late May.

Petroceltic Chief Executive Brian O'Cathain commented in a company statement:

"We have reached the half-way point of our Jurassic formation testing program in Shakrok-1. The well-test results to date indicate that the Butmah formation is water-bearing and contains only residual, non-movable, hydrocarbons. The remaining two tests will target potential oil zones which have been identified by wireline logging within a gross 300 meter stratigraphic column beneath the Alan Anhydrite formation, which acts as an effective seal for oil columns in offsetting discoveries. We await with interest the outcome of these next two tests."

Elsewhere, Petroceltic began drilling an exploration well on the South Dikirnis prospect in Egypt on May 2. The well is targeting a potential oil and gas-bearing prospect within the West Dikirnis license (in which Petroceltic holds a 100-percent stake). The South Dikirnis prospect has a gross mean un-risked prospective resource of 7.6 million barrels of oil equivalent. The well is scheduled to reach its total depth in early June.

In Romania, the Muridava-1 exploration well was started on the Muridava license (where Petroceltic is the operator with a 40-percent stake) on April 11. The well –which is targeting resources of 185 billion cubic feet of gas – is expected to take two months to complete.

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