The Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq has approved Canada’s Western Zagros to begin crude oil production through an extended well test at its Sarqala-1 oil discovery.

Current plans are to commence production from the Sarqala-1 well in October at about 2,000 barrels a day (b/d), increasing production to about 5,000 b/d by the end of 2011, according to a 27 September press release.

The crude oil will be trucked during this extended test and likely sold on the domestic market. The Sarqala-1 well initially tested oil at rates of more than 9,000 b/d at a wellhead pressure of about 2,400 pounds a square inch.

A report by Canada’s Fekete Associates, an independent petroleum reservoir engineering company, calculates the Sarqala-1 well’s maximum theoretical flow rate for the Jeribe reservoir through to be 11,070 b/d using the existing tubing.

Western Zagros signed a production sharing contract with the KRG in 2008, which provides for the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in a 2,120-square-kilometre block (MEED 1:6:11).