Afren Up on Full-Year Results
Posted on 27 March 2012. Tags: Afren, Ain Sifni, Badra Rash

The results included the following statement on operations in Kurdistan:
Kurdistan Region of Iraq – a world class petroleum play
2011 saw the Group expand its geographic footprint to encompass the Kurdistan region of Iraq, through the acquisition of a 60% participating interest in the Barda Rash PSC and 20% participating interest in the Ain Sifni PSC. The Kurdistan region of Iraq represents an attractive upstream opportunity set for Afren. The region is geologically, part of the world’s most prolific petroleum system, the Zagros Fold Belt trend. This extends across all of the Middle East’s most productive regions and accounts for 60% of the world’s proved oil and gas reserves.

The Kurdistan region of Iraq is a heavily under-explored component of this play, with only a small portion of licensed acreage and limited number of mapped prospects having been drilled to date. Despite this, drilling results so far have yielded exploration success rates in excess of 70% and discovery rates of over 200 million barrels per well. This justifies its status as a fast emerging region of global oil and gas importance. Estimates for ‘yet to find’ resources in the region are substantial, ranging from 40 billion to 70 billion barrels. This potential has not gone unnoticed, with the region continuing to attract the attention of the global oil Majors as competition for acreage intensifies.

A large scale development project
The Barda Rash PSC is located 55 km north west of Erbil, and holds the 14,015 mmbbls STOIIP/1,433 mmbbls gross recoverable Barda Rash oil field (split approximately 471 mmbbls light oil and 962 mmbbls heavier oil). The field is defined as an elongated anticline with surface expression of 20 km length and up to 7 km width. The reservoirs are fracture carbonates of various depositional settings.

In 2009, the BR-1 discovery well was drilled to 3,300 m and successfully encountered oil in Cretaceous to Jurassic reservoirs. Well tests were carried out on the Jurassic Mus and Adaiyah formations, each yielding rates of around 3,200 bopd, with a subsequent extended test of the BR-1 well producing 440,000 barrels of 30° to 32° API oil over a three-month period. During this time, oil was trucked from onsite storage and sent to local refineries. Export pipeline infrastructure is located approximately 55 km from the field location and has capacity available. Two further wells were drilled at the field in 2010 – BR-2 and BR-3 – both encountering oil full-to-base in all reservoirs. No oil water contact has yet been established. The field is defined by 330 km of good quality 2D seismic data.

2012 Outlook
In December, Afren received all necessary approvals of the Field Development Plan (FDP) for Barda Rash. The Group plans to undertake a phased development of the field with production start-up scheduled in 2012. Work is now focused on the development of the light oil reserves, the first stage of which comprises re-entering the three existing wells that have been drilled at the field to date, completing them as production wells and commissioning a modular early production system. Production will be trucked to nearby pipeline export points and ultimately in the third phase, be exported via the planned Taq Taq to the Ceyhan export pipeline. The Group will then commence the drilling and completion of multiple new development wells with the intention of increasing production to a planned trucking capacity of 35,000 bopd and ultimately to a targeted 125,000 bopd by 2017. Following this, the Group will focus on the development and production of the heavier oil resources, which will offer further large scale production growth.