Gulf Keystone restarts production at Shaikan oilfield in Iraq

Gulf Keystone Petroleum has restarted production and truck loading operations at its Shaikan oilfield in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The operations were resumed at both of the company's production facilities, PF-1 and -2.

The company received pre-payment of $ 26m for future Shaikan crude oil sales on 25 February 2015.

Production will now be increased to levels consistent with the installed capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day.

Gulf Keystone expects to receive a similar further payment to stabilise a payment cycle for the existing and future production at the field.

The company said its first development well and ninth producer, Shaikan-10, has demonstrated good productivity from the limited flow data secured to date.

Meanwhile, Gulf Keystone has completed drilling the Shaikan-11 production well. It has been drilled from the same surface location as Shaikan-10, but 2km away subsurface.

Shaikan-11 will provide PF-2 with further production capacity. Additionally, Shaikan-8 is connected and able to produce into PF-1.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum chief executive officer John Gerstenlauer said, "Over recent weeks we have maintained a flexible and prudent approach, ensuring that we can maximise revenues from Shaikan.  We remain confident of a regular payment cycle for Shaikan crude being established in the near term."

"From an operational perspective, Shaikan is performing well and we are encouraged by the initial results from Shaikan-10 and the recently completed Shaikan-11 well."

The Shaikan block is located about 85km to the north-west of Erbil covering an area of 283 km².

The production sharing contract for the Shaikan block was awarded in November 2007 to Gulf Keystone Petroleum International, Kalegran and Texas Keystone.

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