ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Gulf Keystone Petroleum announced on Saturday that the company would step up operations in the Kurdistan Region’s Sheikhan oil field to 55,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
In a statement released on its website, London-based Gulf Keystone described its operations for the first half of 2019 as “safe and secure.”
The statement highlighted that the “planned maintenance and the installation of equipment required for the 55,000-bpd project” are complete with plans to reach the target in the second half of 2020.
“The gross average production level in 2019 due to changes in the drilling schedule is expected to remain at the lower end of the 32,000 to 38,000 bpd,” it added.
Kawan Ismael, an expert on oil and crude contracts, told local media that the rises in production levels are significant for the Kurdistan Region “both economically and politically.”
“This will create more job opportunities as well as higher revenue for the Kurdistan Region,” he stated.
Ismael also noted that the production increase would “give Kurdistan leverage in oil talks between Erbil and Baghdad.”
In June 2013, Gulf Keystone commenced commercial production operations, and subsequently crude oil export sales, at two production facilities at the Sheikhan block which are currently capable of producing 40,000 bpd.
Gulf Keystone believes that oil reserves at Sheikhan are around 639 million barrels.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany