Kurdistan

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 5
-- ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. has started drilling operations at the Atrush-1 exploration well on Atrush Block in Kurdistan. The well is operated by General Exploration Partners Inc. (GEP), a company jointly owned by ShaMaran (33.5%) and Aspect Energy (66.5%).

The Atrush-1 exploration well was spudded on Oct. 5. The well, which is being drilled by the Viking International 10 rig, has a planned total depth of 3,100 m and is expected to take about 120 days to drill.

The well is targeting the same reservoir sections as the adjacent major new Shaikan oil discovery announced by Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. Of the 10 expected target reservoirs in Atrush-1, 9 were confirmed to be oil-bearing in Shaikan, while the Lower Kurra Chine encountered high pressure gas.

In August, the company announced that it had entered into a subscription agreement and a shareholders agreement with Aspect Energy International LLC whereby ShaMaran Ventures BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, had acquired a 33.5% stake in GEP.

GEP currently owns 80% of the rights and obligations of the contractor in the PSC and the contract area and the Atrush-1 represents the exploration well obligation of the first exploration period.

The obligation for the acquisition of 2D seismic was completed with 143 line-km acquired in 2008.

The company has completed the seismic program on Arbat Block in eastern Kurdistan, having already acquired seismic earlier this year on its Pulkhana and K42 blocks.

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