Austria’s OMV has struck oil at its Bina Rawi block in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq.

OMV encountered hydrocarbons at the Bina Rawi-3 exploration well, which is still being drilled. Further investigations are planned, including the evaluation of deeper potential targets.

The company has stakes in five blocks in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It operated three of these blocks: Bina Bawi, Shorish and Mala Omar.

The find follows similar news from Canada-based oil firm Western Zagros Resources, which hit oil at the Sarqala 1 exploration well in its 2,120-square-kilometre exploration and production block (MEED 1:6:11).

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has signed more than 35 production sharing contracts with international oil companies to explore and produce oil and gas since passing its own hydrocarbons law in 2007. The deals have been a constant source of strain in relations with the federal government in Baghdad, which says they are illegal.