State-owned Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) has received approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the first phase development of the Atrush Block in the north of Iraq.

Taqa, the operator of the Atrush block, submitted its field development plan in early May.  The block is expected to initially produce about 30,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude oil, starting in early 2015, according to a 7 October press release.

Taqa plans to invest more than $300m in the first phase development, drilling three production wells and building a central processing facility.

Taqa already has an active drilling programme. It is currently preparing to drill a fourth well on the block and is appraising the area for further development.

If approved, the second phase of development is expected to add another 30,000 b/d production facility. Taqa is currently evaluating the feasibility of producing associated natural gas for delivery to the domestic market. Eventually, the firm hopes to establish an integrated business that would include power and water projects in the region.