MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s energy giant Gazprom Neft plans to drill its first exploratory well in Iraq next year, the chief executive of the company’s Middle East branch told the Gazprom corporate magazine, published Friday.
"The first exploration well will be drilled in Halabja in 2016," Gazprom Neft Middle East CEO Mikhail Kholodov said, referring to a city in Iraqi Kurdistan on the Iranian border.
Extraction at the Halabja and Shakal assemblies is planned for 2018-2019, while production at Sarqala is expected to increase considerably by that period.
Gazprom Neft has operated in Iraq since 2010, when it assisted with oilfield exploration in Badra, Wasit. Production there began in May 2014.