A meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Massoud Barzani, President of Iraq's Kurdistan Autonomous Region took place today as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2013.
The meeting addressed the bilateral cooperation issues in the oil and gas sector. In particular, the parties discussed the progress with interaction in oil and gas field exploration, development and operation.
In 2012 Gazprom Neft, a subsidiary of Gazprom, joined two new projects for hydrocarbon resources exploration and development in Iraq. The company signed a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with the Kurdistan Regional Government for the Garmian and Shakal blocks located in Southern Kurdistan. Currently, geological exploration is underway at the abovementioned blocks. Production will be launched not later than in 2015, once exploration activities are over.
Gazprom Neft will acquire a 40 per cent stake in the Garmian block project. Canadian WesternZagros, another party of the PSA with a 40 per cent stake, will remain as the project operator till the start of main activities under the Agreement. Gazprom Neft will be the operator of the Shakal block project, where the company will have an 80 per cent stake. The Kurdistan Regional Government's stake in each project is 20 per cent. The resource potential of the two blocks exceeds 500 million tons of oil equivalent (about 3.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent).
In early 2013 Gazprom Neft also signed a PSA on the Halabja block, obtaining an 80 per cent stake in the project. Located 30 kilometers away from the Garmian block, the Halabja block contains 90 million tons of estimated oil resources. At present, the company develops a geological exploration program for the project purposes.