Western Oil Sands exploring Kurdistan tract

Sept. 22, 2006
A unit of Western Oil Sands, Calgary, has begun exploring a 914,000-acre block in Kurdistan southeast of Kirkuk under an exploration and production-sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government Sulaymaniyah Administration.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 22 -- A unit of Western Oil Sands, Calgary, has begun exploring a 914,000-acre block in Kurdistan southeast of Kirkuk under an exploration and production-sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government Sulaymaniyah Administration.

WesternZagros Ltd., seeking conventional oil and gas in the Zagros fold belt, has identified three large structures from satellite imagery and noted that the block has active oil seeps and oil shows in water wells. The subsidiary ran a preliminary 2D seismic survey in late 2005.

The block lies 60 km southeast of and on trend with the southeastern edge of supergiant Kirkuk oil and gas field. The identified structures, Bawanoor, Kalar, and Shakal, are each more than 25 km in length.

The agreement, to become law after passage by the unified government, requires a $45 million work commitment that includes geological and geophysical programs and exploratory drilling. Drilling could begin as soon as late 2007.

Western Oil Sands has assigned the block 1.7 billion bbl of risk-adjusted potential.

The company has a 20% interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta with Shell Canada Ltd. 60% and Chevron Canada Ltd. 20%.