The US’ Marathon Oil Corporation expects to produce its first oil in 2015 from the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

Marathon is planning further development of the Atrush block and notified the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that the prospect had commercial potential in May, according to the company’s second-quarter results, released on 6 August.

A field development plan has been submitted to the KRG’s Natural Resources Ministry and final approval is expected before the end of the year. First production at the block could be seen in 2015.

The US firm has stakes in the Atrush and Sarsang production-sharing licences with 15 and 25 per cent interests, along with 45 per cent stakes in the Harir and Safen oil and gas exploration blocks.

Marathon drilled the Mirawa exploration well in the Harir block on 19 March, reaching a total depth of 13,975 feet. It also currently drilling the Safen exploration well at the Safen block.