Marathon plans Iraq drilling campaign in 2013

10 December 2012

US oil firm to drill at leasts four wells in Kurdistan

The US’ Marathon Oil Corporation is planning a major drilling campaign for 2013 in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq as part of its $300m global exploration drive.

Marathon will drill between 10 and 13 wells in 2013 across its global exploration and production licences, with at least four planned for Iraq, according to a 4 December company presentation.

Together, the wells are expected to expose as much as 700 million barrels of net oil reserves.

Marathon will drill the Gara-1, East Swara Tika, Safen-1 and Mirawa-1 wells before June 2013. Drilling at Minagesh-1 is already under way.

“We were the first large, publicly traded US company to go into Kurdistan,” says Clarence Cazalot, chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Marathon. “We built a strong position with two blocks; Atrush and Sarsang, with 20 and 25 per cent interests. Each one has had a discovery well drilled on it, and we are now setting up early production systems.”

Marathon signed production-sharing contracts for the Harir and Safen oil and gas exploration blocks to the northeast of the provincial capital Irbil in the Kurdish region in August 2010. The company also has a 20 per cent stake in the Atrush block, operated by the US’ Aspect Energy, and 25 per cent in the Sarsang block, operated by US firm, HKN Energy.

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