UK-listed energy company Gulf Keystone Petroleum has increased its estimate of reserves at its Shaikan Block in Kurdistan to 3 billion barrels of oil, compared with its original forecast of 2 billion barrels.

The firm revised its estimates for Shaikan after new drilling at its Alan and Mus formations.

Drilling has now reached 1,710 metres and the firm expecta to continue drilling to a depth of 3,200-3,500 metres.

In October 2008, the company estimated reserves of up to 2 billion barrels of oil at the wider Shaikan Block, following the completion of a two-dimensional seismic survey (MEED 15:10:08).

The firm’s technical staff decided on their 2-billion-barrel estimate for the reservoir after surveying 171 kilometres out of an overall block area of 283 square kilometres.