Gulf Keystone, Partners Contract Drilling Rig for Kurdistan's Shaikan Block

The Shaikan Block
(Click to Enlarge)

Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. has announced that Gulf Keystone Petroleum International Limited ("GKPIL"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf Keystone, in partnership with Kalegran Ltd ("Kalegran"), a subsidiary of MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Limited Company ("MOL") has contracted Weatherford Drilling International (BVI) Ltd. ("WDI"), to supply a drilling rig for a minimum two well program in Kurdistan.

The tripartite agreement between GKPIL, Kalegran and WDI is for two firm wells and a further three optional wells. The first well to be drilled in the Shaikan Block is targeted for early 2009.

The new build NOV IDEAL 1500HP rig is expected to be shipped from Houston during the 4th quarter of 2008. After drilling the well in the Shaikan Block (GKPIL Operated) the rig will be mobilized to drill a well in the Akri-Bijeel Block (Kalegran Operated).

The acquisition of well head and casing is also well advanced with GKPIL and Kalegran having established a pipe yard near Maraiba in the Shaikan Block with stock on location and in transit.

The Shaikan Block is situated near the city of Dihok, approximately 85 kilometers North-West of Erbil and covers an area of 283 square kilometers.

The Akri-Bijeel Block is adjacent to the Shaikan Block and covers an area of 889 square kilometers.

Todd Kozel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "I am delighted that we now have a drilling rig contracted for Kurdistan with firm plans for a minimum of two wells, the first well, on the Shaikan block, is scheduled to spud in early 2009. This rig contract is a tangible benefit of our recent successful fund raising and the demonstrably rapid progress which we and our partners are making in Kurdistan is testimony to our close working relationships."


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