Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO ASA has signed an agreement to acquire half of ExxonMobil’s stake in the Baeshiqa licence within the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Through the agreement, DNO is expected to assume operatorship of the licence with a 40% paying interest, which translates to 32% net interest.
Located 60km west of Erbil and 20km east of Mosul, the 324km² licence comprises two undrilled structures with potential for independent stacked target reservoir systems, including the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic.
DNO ASA executive chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said: "We bring to the project a ten-year record of successful and fast-track operations in Kurdistan, culminating in more than 200 million barrels produced to date.
"Following regularisation of export payments and a landmark agreement with the government to close out our historical receivables, our foot is back firmly on the accelerator."
"We bring to the project a ten-year record of successful and fast-track operations in Kurdistan, culminating in more than 200 million barrels produced to date."
Once government approval is obtained, DNO will undertake drilling activities, with the first well to be spudded in the first half of next year and an additional well to come up on a separate structure.
ExxonMobil previously conducted geological and geophysical studies and additionally constructed a drilling pad before work was suspended in the wake of security conditions in the region.
ExxonMobil will continue to hold a 40% paying (32% net) interest, while the Turkish Energy Company (TEC) will retain a 20% paying (16% net) interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government will have a 20% carried interest.
Other licences operated by DNO in Kurdistan include the Tawke and Peshkabir fields, with a total production capacity of more than 110,000 barrels of oil per day, and the Benenan and Bastora heavy oil fields, which are currently undergoing further appraisal and development.