Russia’s Gazprom prepares to drill for Kurdish oil in Halabja
Final preparations are underway for Russian oil giant Gazprom to conduct a survey on the Halabja Block in the southeast Kurdistan Region, which according to the company’s estimates holds sizable oil reservoirs.
Technical equipment has already been transferred to the site for the 2D seismic survey, which is scheduled to be completed before the year’s end. The survey will cover an area of 870 square kilometers in Halabja and the surrounding area.
“We have good reasons to believe the company will find oil here in Halabja,” said one Gazprom associate who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The company’s chief executive, Mikhail Kholodov, stated last March the exploration well in the Halabja Block is expected to be drilled at the start of next year.
“The company didn’t give us any assurances as to finding oil in our city,” said Arkan Hasan, the mayor of Halabja. “They said they have to complete their sur- vey first and then inform us whether there is oil or not.”
But the company has already set up a temporary camp outside the city and plans to hire 200 personnel from the area for the project.
Gazprom has signed a contract for two missions in the Kurdistan Region, one in Halabja and the other in Shakal Block some 100 kilometers west of Halabja. The Russian oil giant has a product-sharing agreement (PSA) with the Kurdistan Regional Government and has already completed drilling on two wells in Shakal at depths of 3.5 kilometers.