Gazprom Neft Middle East, the operator of Gazprom Neft’s projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, is to conduct a 2D seismic survey on the south-eastern section of the Halabja block. The technical equipment and personnel required for the survey are currently being transferred from the south-western section, where the company has already successfully completed a survey spanning 225 linear km. 2D seismic surveys covering approximately 870 linear km are scheduled to be conducted on the Halabja block by the end of the year.
In 2014, a 2D seismic survey covering 130 linear km was conducted on the block. The first exploration well is expected to be drilled in 2015/2016.
Mikhail Kholodov, CEO of Gazprom Neft Middle East, said: “The Halabja block has until now undergone very little geological study. Conducting seismological surveys is the first step towards identifying the optimal location for an exploration well and these provide a significant amount of new information on the structure of the block.”
Gapzrom Neft is involved in four projects in Iraq, three of which are located in Kurdistan.
Gazprom Neft holds an 80% interest in the Halabja and Shakal blocks (the remaining 20% is held by the Kurdistan Regional Government). In August 2014 the drilling of two exploration wells began at the Shakal block, which are currently undergoing testing.
Gazprom Neft holds a 40% interest in the Garmian block and will become the operator of the project in 2015. Detailed appraisals of the field and preparation for its full-scale development are ongoing at the block. The Kurdistan Regional Government is currently considering a preliminary plan for the block’s development.
Gazprom Neft’s fourth project in Iraq is the development of the Badra oilfield located in the Wasit Province, Eastern Iraq. Preliminary estimates indicate total oil reserves at the Badra field at three billion barrels. Gazprom Neft operates the project and holds a 30% interest. Commercial production of oil at the Badra field began in August 2014.