Canadian firms, Western Zagros and Talisman Energy have drilled their latest well in their exploration and appraisal programme for the Kurdamir block in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern of Iraq.

The firms will spend an estimated $165m on drilling in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drilling began on the Kurdamir-3 appraisal well on 22 February. 

Operated by Talisman, the Kurdamir-3 well is expected to take four months to reach a depth of 2,800-metres, at a cost of $50m, according to a company statement from Western Zagros, a partner at the block.

Seismic surveys covering 184-square-kilometres began in January and will be completed by September. The data from this survey will be used to decide on future appraisal well locations and refine assessments of the existing discovery.

The firms are also preparing to drill three wells at the Garmian block. Seismic surveys covering 325-square-kilometres began in November and are now more than 50 per cent complete. This survey is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2013.

The first well, Hasira-1 is planned to for early in the second quarter of 2013 and is expected to take seven months, drilling to a total depth of 4,100 metres. A rig is currently being prepared in the US for deployment. The cost of drilling and testing operations at Hasira-1 are expected to be $60m.

The second well, Baram-1 will be drilled in the third quarter and will take five months to reach the planned depth of 3,800 metres. An additional drilling rig is also currently being prepared in the US and operation costs will amount to $55m.