Gazprom Neft appointed operator of Garmian block, Kurdistan

Gazprom Neft Middle East, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, has assumed the operatorship of the Sarqala field (Garmian block), located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Operatorship was transferred pursuant to the production sharing contract for this field, signed in 2012. WesternZagros Resources Ltd was previously operator on the project. Work on the field is now being managed by staff of Gazprom Neft Middle East.


First oil at the Garmian block was achieved in 2011, with commercial production commencing in 2015. As at 1 March 2016 total production at the field had reached 2.7 million tonnes.

As well as its production programme, Gazprom Neft is also implementing a range of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives throughout the KRI, one of which is a specialist scholarship programme for young Kurdish professionals — the Gazprom Neft Middle East Scholarship Programme, offering the most talented school leavers the opportunity to pursue specialist higher education programmes at the Natural Mineral Resources University, St Petersburg, with the opportunity of employment thereafter at the company’s assets throughout the Middle East.

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Gazprom Neft is currently involved in four projects in the Republic of Iraq, three of which are located in the Kurdistan Region.

Gazprom Neft Middle East has interests in the Garmian, Halabja and Shakal blocks, holding an 80-percent interest in the Halabja and Shakal fields (the remainder being held by the Kurdistan Regional Government). Two exploration wells have now been drilled at the Shakal block, and additional 3D seismic investigations completed, with analysis and interpretation of the data obtained now ongoing. Analysis of 2D seismic data obtained at the Halabja block in 2015 is currently coming to completion.

Gazprom Neft’s interest in the Garmian block stands at 40 percent. Detailed field appraisal on this block is currently ongoing in preparation for its being opened up for large-scale development, with the Kurdistan Regional Government currently assessing preliminary plans, to that end.

Gazprom Neft’s fourth project in Iraq concerns the development of the Badra field, located in the Wassit province, in the east of the country. Preliminary investigations suggest reserves at the Badra field could total as much as three billion barrels of oil. Gazprom Neft is operator on this project, with a 30-percent interest. Commercial production at the Badra field commenced in August 2014.