Tuesday, 21 May 2013

WesternZagros begins aggressive drilling program

WesternZagros Resources (CVE: WZR) says it has begun its latest drilling program at the Garmian Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The Calgary-based company began drilling at the Mil Qasim Upper Bakhtiari-1 well, the first of a three-well program geared towards exploring the Upper Bakhtiari Formation. WesternZagros predicts to have testing results sometime in the third quarter.
The drill project will also be the first of the company's five-well Garmian drilling program planned for 2013.
"Spudding this well is a key step in testing the Upper Bakhtiari Formation, a new reservoir which exhibited oil shows when we drilled the Mil Qasim-1 well in 2011/2012," said WesternZagros chief executive officer Simon Hatfield. "Subsequent review of logs and seismic data identified a relatively shallow, low-cost prospect."
Hatfield also said WesternZagros is on track with its other Garmian wells. The company is assembling the Hasira-1 rig in order to begin drilling in the next few weeks. The objectives of this well are to "appraise the extent of the oil leg previously discovered in the Jeribe reservoir at the Sarqala-1 well" and explore the Oligocene reservoir, which the company could not evaluate during prior activity.
The Hasira-1 rig is expected to take approximately seven months to drill, and will reach a depth of 4,100 metres.
Additionally, WesternZagros says the Baram-1 well is on track to start drilling in the third quarter of 2013. The well, which the company expects to take five months to reach a depth of 3,800 metres, will explore a possible extension of the oil leg in the Oligocene reservoir of the Kurdamir discovery.
WesternZagros also began drilling at the Kurdamir-3 appraisal well on the Kurdamir oil discovery in February. Testing results from Kurdamir-3, which is within five kilometres of the Kurdamir-1 and Kurdamir-2 discoveries, are anticipated in the third quarter.
WesternZagros has a 40 per cent working interest in the Kurdamir block, while Talisman Energy (TSE:TLM), the operator of the well, holds a 40 per cent working interest, with the Kurdistan regional government holding the remainder. 
After what it described as a “breakthrough” 2012, due to its oil discovery at its Kurdamir-2 well, the company said it intended on aggressively exploring its properties this year.
Last month, WesternZagros closed a private placement of 11.4 million common shares priced at $1.25, raising $14.3 million. In March, WesternZagros received $123 million through a debt and equity financing by existing shareholder Crest Energy International.
WesternZagros, which is focused on oil and gas exploration and production in Iraq, has a market cap of $530.9 million.

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