DNO sees ‘exceptional results’ at Kurdistan oilfield
A pioneer of oil exploration in Iraqi Kurdistan has reported “exceptional results” from its first horizontal well in one of the region’s main oilfields, with the well producing more than twice the maximum from existing drillings.
The new horizontal well in the Tawke field is producing 25,000 barrels per day, Norway-based oil and gas company DNO International announced on Monday. Its previously most productive well produces 10,000 bpd.
“We are pleased with the exceptional results from this well and excited about the prospects for horizontal drilling at Tawke,” said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO’s executive chairman, in a statement.
“Our next task is to optimise production . . . while assessing the potential of horizontal wells in terms of drilling efficiency, well recovery factor and overall Tawke field output capac- ity.” DNO holds a 55 per cent interest in the Tawke licence. Genel Energy holds 25 per cent and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) the remaining 20 per cent.
Genel is led by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward. In 2011 he joined with financier Nat Rothschild to launch a cash shell, Vallares, which raised £1.35bn in a London flotation in June 2011 before negotiating a merger with Turkey’s Genel.
Together with Genel, DNO was among the first to arrive in Kurdistan after the US-led invasion of 2003, signing its production-sharing agreement with the KRG in June 2004. The company found oil shortly afterwards.
Since then, DNO has spent more than $800m developing the Tawke field and exploring for oil nearby, making it one of the biggest investors in the region.
The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq sits on more than 45bn barrels of oil, making it one of the hottest destinations for oil companies in recent years.
ExxonMobil decided to enter the region in 2011, followed by Chevron, Total and Gazprom.
But enthusiasm has been tempered by tensions between the region and Iraq’s federal government based in Baghdad, which has led to border skirmishes and rows over oil.
DNO’s shares climbed to a six-year high on Monday, up more than 4 per cent during heavy trading on the Oslo stock exchange. The company’s shares have gained more than 60 per cent during the past 12 months.
DNO said drilling was under way at a second horizontal well in Tawke, and the company was preparing to start drilling a third.
An employee of the DNO Company is working at the Tawke Oilfield in Kurdistan Region.