Longford Energy announced that it has been recently appointed as the Operator of the Chia Surkh Block and plans to commence seismic acquisition during the second quarter of 2010.
As previously announced, the Company acquired a participating interest in a PSC Contract in June 2009 for the Chia Surkh Block, which covers approximately 985 square kilometers, in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Block contains a historical discovery as well as multiple exploration prospects. An initial resource estimate was completed by DeGolyer and MacNaughton Canada Limited in September 2009 for the shallow Tertiary horizons of the discovered field. The independent assessment established a gross unrisked prospective resource with a "best estimate" of 132 million barrels of potential ultimate recoverable oil on the field as of September 1, 2009. In addition, the Company has identified up to five exploration prospects and leads that could provide significant opportunities to further discoveries and resource expansion.
Longford has completed the establishment and registration of its Kurdistan office in the city of Sulaymaniyah, and in preparation for the start of operations, a professional management team comprising of foreign staff personnel and local nationals have been put in place. A 300 km 2D seismic acquisition program has been prepared and approved. The seismic program has been designed to evaluate both the known Chia Surkh Field and up to four exploration prospects on the Block. The Chia Surkh Field will be evaluated for near term development potential and the exploration targets, defined by surface anticlines, will be further appraised for exploration drilling.
Currently a baseline Environmental Impact Assessment is being conducted, and various other surveys have been initiated. The seismic tendering process has been launched and the Company expects to award the seismic contract in April 2010.
Additionally, the Company is in the early planning stages to drill the first exploration well on the Chia Surkh Field during the fourth quarter of 2010.
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