Chevron has reached first oil at the Sarta field, in Kurdistan, from an early production facility.
The US major has a 50% stake in the licence, while Genel Energy has 30%. The Kurdistan Regional Government holds the remaining 20%.
A statement from Genel said that oil was now flowing from the Sarta-3 well, into the early production facility. A workover on the Sarta-2 is on track and should be completed in December, coming onstream in January.
Stable production is due from the first quarter of 2021.
The first phase focused on a low-cost development of the Mus-Adaiyah reservoirs, targeting 2P gross reserves of 34mn barrels. The Sarta facility has capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.
Plans are under way for appraisal drilling in 2021. This is intended to firm up the 250 million barrels of contingent resources in the Jurassic.
“First oil at Sarta is an important strategic and operational milestone for Genel, not least given the challenges presented by COVID-19 in 2020,” said Genel’s CEO Bill Higgs.
Reaching first oil at the field is a “tremendous achievement and a testament to the alignment and co-operation of the field partners and contractors. Already the only multi-licence producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the addition of Sarta further diversifies our production and cash flows.”
Higgs said the appraisal programme next year would allow the company to work with Chevron to “optimise the value of the asset in the years ahead”.
Genel acquired its stake in the Sarta licence in January 2019. At the same time the companies reached final investment decision on Stage 1A.
Chevron began civil works and construction in mid-2019, signing a contract with Oilserv. The US company has said it intended to operate Sarta until the end of 2021. After this it will shift to “partner operations”.