Heritage Oil has discovered reserves estimated at 9.1 trillion cubic feet at the Miran West gas field in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Following the completion of testing at the Miran West-2 well, the UK-based company estimates the Miran West field contains between 6.8 to 9.1 trillion cubic feet, along with 42 to 71 million barrels of condensates and 53 to 75 million barrels of crude oil.

Heritage is considering its development options with first production targeted for 2015. The company has accelerated its 2011 drilling programme, with the Miran West-3 appraisal well scheduled to commence drilling in the second quarter.

Drilling at a second drilling rig is planned for this autumn.

The Miran Block contains two large fields, Miran West and Miran East, which cover approximately 200 square kilometres and 130 sq km respectively. Drilling at the Miran West-2 appraisal well began in November 2009.

Heritage was one of the first international oil companies to sign a production sharing contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government in October 2007 as the operator for the Miran Block, approximately 65 kilometres from the disputed Kirkuk oil field. Turkey’s Genel Energy also has a stake in the field.

According to the US Geological Survey, the region contains approximately 40 billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Exports from the Kurdish region are expected to resume in February, at up to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) following an agreement between Baghdad and the KRG (MEED 20:1:11).