The UK’s Heritage Oil has begun its exploration and drilling programme in Iraq, drilling an appraisal well at the Miran gas field in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq, which is estimated to hold more than 6.8 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The well, Miran West-3 will appraise the Jurassic and Cretaceous reservoir formations at the Miran West-1 and Miran West-2 discoveries, according to a 8 August company release.

Heritage Oil estimates the structure holds between 42 million and 71 million barrels of condensate and 53 million to 75 million barrels of oil.

The company expects Miran West-3 to take about seven months to complete, after which the rig will be moved to drill another appraisal well at Miran West-4. A second rig is currently being sourced and drilling is planned to commence before the end of the year.

The Miran Block contains two large fields, Miran West and Miran East, which cover about 200 square kilometres and 130 sq km respectively. Drilling at the Miran West-2 appraisal well began in November 2009 (MEED 30:1:11).