London-listed Gulf Keystone has drilled its first development well at the Shaikan field in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The Shaikan-10 well was drilled on 5 July 2013, following the firm’s recent development plan approval. The well is being drilled with a Weatherford 842 rig, according to a 10 July company statement.

Shaikan-10 will be followed by a minimum 3-rig development and production drilling programme, which will commence in early 2014.

The well is intended to become a production well, which will be tied to the second Shaikan production facility (PF-2), which is currently under construction and will have a capacity of 20,000 barrels a day (b/d). PF-2 will also be tied to the Shaikan-2 and Shaikan-5 completed production wells.

PF-1 has now been completed and commissioned with a capacity of 20,000 b/d.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) approved the field development plan on 26 June. This calls for the drilling of about 105 development wells, 12 of which will be deep Triassic wells, while the remainder will the Jurassic wells, along with service and gas injector wells.

The phased development will target production of 40,000 b/d by the end of 2013, 150,000 b/d within three years and 250,000 b/d within five years.

Plateau production is expected to be between 1750,000 b/d and 350,000 b/d for a period of 10 years, according to John Gerstenlauer, Gulf Keystone’s chief operating officer. The reason for the wide spread is the field contains at least seven different reservoirs. Only five appraisal wells have been drilled so far, so the amount of reserves at the field could rise significantly.