The UK’s Sterling Energy is to start drilling on its first well in Iraq’s Kurdistan in the second half of December.

Sterling says it has mobilised the drilling rig and expects to drill down on the Sangaw North Block to a depth of 3,660 metres, with an option to go deeper to 4,160 metres depending on initial findings.

The company and independent consulting firm RISC estimate up to 804 million barrels of oil reserves are in place in the Sangaw North Block.

On 26 November, the UK’s Heritage Oil started a four-month drilling programme on its Miran West 2 well in Kurdistan. This is the first stage in its attempt to unlock up to 4 billion barrels of oil reserves in the overall Miran structure.