Oryx Petroleum hits oil in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

oilfield kri-nick taylor flickrThe Ain Al Safra prospect is estimated to contain 225mn barrels of unrisked gross prospective resources and 44mn barrels of risked prospectives. (Image source: Nick Taylor/Flickr)Oryx Petroleum has discovered crude oil at the Ain Al Safra prospect on the Hawler License in the northern part of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The Sakson Hilong 10 rig spudded the exploration well AAS-1 that was targeting the prospect in June this year, the Middle East and Africa-focused explorer announced.

The well targeted oil potential primarily in the lower Jurassic and Triassic and secondarily in the Cretaceous and reached a depth of 3,039 metres in the uppermost Triassic early last month.

AAS-1 was logged down to the lowermost Jurassic and there was evidence of oil shows in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and lower Jurassic of varying quality. The Cretaceous reservoir was deemed wet and not tested.

In the lower Jurassic reservoirs, free oil on the shakers and sizable losses of drilling fluids were observed during drilling with significant quantities of oil flowing to surface. As such, three cased hole drill stem tests (DST) were conducted in the lower Jurassic zones, Oryx Petroleum said.

The first and second DSTs tested the Butmah and Adayiah formations, respectively. While logging results of each formation indicated the presence of fractures, the results of both tests were inconclusive as the tests were unable to connect to a permeable fracture network and flow fluids to surface.

The third DST tested the base of the Alan formation and the Mus formation together.

“Two intervals were perforated in a section totaling 58 metres. The well was successfully flowed using 20/64-inch and 16/64-inch choke sizes. The two choke sizes yielded average oil flow rates of 850 bpd and 675 bpd respectively, over eight hour flow periods,” the company stated.

Field tests, however, produced conflicting results with some samples ranging from 18º API to 29º API. Natural gas was also encountered with gas oil ratio of approximately 0.012 cubic metres per barrel. Hydrogen sulfide was also encountered and measured at 20 per cent in the gas phase.

Oil and gas consulting firm Netherland Sewell & Associates, Inc. estimated that the Ain Al Safra prospect contains 225mn barrels of unrisked gross prospective resources and 44mn barrels of risked prospectives, according to Oryx Petroleum.

The Ain Al Safra discovery is likely to be appraised in 2014 as part of the multi-well appraisal and development drilling programme in the Hawler License area, where Oryx Petroleum is the operator and has a 65 per cent participating and working interest.

Henry Legarre, chief operating officer of Oryx Petroleum, said, “We are very pleased to make a second oil discovery on the Hawler License area. Based on the results of the recently completed test programme at Ain Al Safra, we are proceeding with further analysis and appraisal to determine the size and quality of the discovery as well as its potential commerciality.”



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