Friday 23 February 2018

Petroceltic begins Iraq drilling

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

PETROCELTIC has begun drilling in Iraq as the Irish oil and gas explorer ramps up its latest drilling programme.

In a statement, the firm, which has interests across Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, said it made the initial drilling of two wells – one in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and one in Romania.

The Shakrok-1 well in Iraq is the first well the company has drilled at the Shakrok prospect about 240 miles north of Baghdad. The well is expected to take about five months to drill to its full target depth of 3,000m.

Petroceltic say analysis suggests the prospect could have as much as 850 million barrels of oil equivalent in place, and has a 24pc chance of being successful.

The company has been involved in the region for more than two years and the move signals growing interest of international oil and gas companies in Iraq as perceptions around the security situation in the country improve.

Iraq was the third biggest oil producer in the world before the first Gulf War 22 years ago.

Meanwhile, the company has also begun exploring two prospects in the Black Sea offshore Romania.

Petroceltic gained access to the Est Cobalcescu and Muridava concessions as part of its reverse takeover of Melrose Resources last year.

The site is estimated to have as much as 400bn cubic feet of gas, but it will be sometime before the company can confirm those figures.

Shares in the company rose in Dublin 1pc, and in London 4pc.

Irish Independent

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