DNO, which is controlled by the UAE’s RAK Petroleum, will assume operatorship of the license with a 40 percent paying interest, acquiring one-half of ExxonMobil’s position. ExxonMobil will keep a 40 percent interest while the Turkish Energy Company will have the 20 percent paying interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government will retain a 20 percent carried interest.
The Baeshiqa license contains two large, undrilled structures, which are expected to have multiple independent stacked target reservoir systems, including in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic.
DNO will drill an exploration well in the first half of 2018 with a second exploration well to follow on a separate structure, subject to government approval. ExxonMobil had previously conducted extensive geological and geophysical studies and constructed a drilling pad before work was interrupted due to security conditions in the region.
“We are pleased to partner with ExxonMobil, TEC and the Government on this exciting exploration opportunity,” Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO’s Executive Chairman, said in a statement. “We bring to the project a 10-year record of successful and fast-track operations in Kurdistan, culminating in more than 200 million barrels produced to date.”
Oslo-listed DNO is currently the most active driller among the international operators in Kurdistan: it holds a license for Tawke and Peshkabir fields which together produce over 110,000 barrels of oil per day and another for the Benenan and Bastora heavy oilfields, which are undergoing further appraisal and development.