Technical equipment and personnel required for the survey are being transferred from the southwestern section, where the company has already successfully completed a survey spanning 225 line-km.
Overall, 2D seismic surveys covering 870 line-km are scheduled to be conducted on the block by yearend. Last year, a 2D seismic survey covering 130 line-km was conducted on the block. The first exploration well is expected to be drilled in 2015-16.
“The Halabja block has until now undergone very little geological study,” explained Mikhail Kholodov, chief executive officer of Gazprom Neft Middle East.
Gapzrom Neft is involved in four projects in Iraq, three of which are in Kurdistan.
Gazprom Neft holds 80% interest in the Halabja and Shakal blocks, with the remaining 20% held by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). In August 2014, drilling of two exploration wells began on Shakal, which is currently undergoing testing (OGJ Online, Aug. 1, 2014).
Gazprom Neft also holds 40% interest in Garmian block and will become operator this year. Detailed appraisals of the field and preparation for its full-scale development are ongoing. The KRG is considering a preliminary plan for the block’s development.
Gazprom Neft’s fourth project in Iraq is development of Badra oil field in Wasit Province in the eastern portion the country. Gazprom Neft last year completed laying, testing, and connecting a 165-km oil pipeline from Badra to Gharraf field (OGJ Online, Mar. 5, 2015).
Preliminary estimates indicate total oil reserves at Badra at 3 billion bbl. Gazprom Neft operates the project and holds 30% interest. Commercial production from Badra began in August 2014 (OGJ Online, Sept. 2, 2014). A third well was brought online in January (OGJ Online, Jan. 2, 2015).