Petroceltic begins drilling in Black Sea

Irish exploration firm Petroceltic has begun a multi-well drilling round in the Black Sea region which will include the highly anticipated Shakrok-1 well in Kurdistan, which is targeting an estimated 650 million barrels of oil.

The Dublin-based firm has a 16% net stake in two blocks in Kurdistan and is in partnership with New York-based oil company, Hess, which operates Shakrok. Drilling is also set to begin on two licence areas in Romania in which Petroceltic holds an interest.

Chief executive Brian O’Cathain said the spudding of the firm’s first wells in both Kurdistan and Romania herald “an exciting time” for the business.

“The Shakrok-1 well in Kurdistan is the first well in a multi-well campaign planned for this prolific petroleum province where a number of large exploration targets have been identified. Shakrok has multiple Jurassic and Triassic oil reservoir targets, each with substantial resource potential,” he said.

Mr O’Cathain added that recent drilling results in the region suggest the possibility of “substantial upside resource potential”.

“In Romania, the 3D seismic survey acquired in 2012 has confirmed the presence of a significant gas prospect inventory in a number of different hydrocarbon plays.”

Meanwhile, Tullow Oil has announced the abandonment of a second well in Mozambique in just over a month. In late July, Tullow abandoned the Cachalote-1 well, off the coast of Mozambique after not deeming it commercial, despite discovering a gas-bearing reservoir. Yesterday, the Irish-founded exploration firm said that drilling at the Buzio-1 well, situated in the same area of offshore Mozambique, has not encountered any hydrocarbons and has been plugged and abandoned, as a result.

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