The Atrush Block is located approximately 85 kilometres northwest of Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, and is 269 square kilometres in area. Oil has been proven in Jurassic fractured carbonates in the Chiya Khere structure and is estimated to contain between 1.5 and 2.8 billion barrels of oil in place. The structure is expressed at surface by the Chiya Khere mountain, which runs east-west for approximately 25 kilometres with an approximate width of 3.5 kilometres.
Immediately to the south is the Shaikan Block operated by Gulf Keystone and producing an average of 30,500 bopd during 2015. Immediately to the north is the Sarsang Block operated by HKN Energy and producing an average of 2,800 bopd from early production facilities.
In the year 2008 GEP acquired 143 kilometres of 2D seismic data covering the Atrush Block. In April 2011 the Atrush structure was confirmed as an oil discovery by the AT-1 exploration well. This was followed by the AT-2 appraisal well in July 2012. 3D seismic covering the entire Atrush Block was acquired between July 2011 and August 2012 and a Declaration of Commerciality made on November 7, 2012. The eastern part of the field was successfully appraised in June 2013 by the AT-3 well.
TAQA took over operatorship in December 2012 and submitted the Atrush Block Field Development Plan ("FDP") for approval to the KRG on May 6, 2013 which was subsequently approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources ("MNR") effective October 1 2013. Construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 production facility commenced in the second quarter of 2014.
In 2014 three further development wells, AT-4, CK-5 and CK-8, were drilled in the Phase I area. Also in 2014 a second eastern appraisal well, CK-6, was drilled. In 2014 and 2015 extensive well testing was carried out in all newly drilled wells as well as re-testing of the AT-3 well. Interference testing demonstrated excellent communication from the eastern part of the field to the western part of the field and all wells showed good productivities.
Commissioning of the Production Facility is targeted for the second quarter of 2016 with first oil production to follow in mid 2016. A dedicated feeder pipeline between the Phase 1 production facility and the tie-in point on the main export pipeline is planned to be constructed in 2016 and is expected to be completed in time for production start-up.
The Atrush structure is a complex faulted anticlinal structure developed along a possible shallow thrust zone oriented east-west. The proven and potential stacked oil reservoirs within the block are the Sarmord and Garagu (Cretaceous), Barsarin, Naokelekan (Upper Jurassic), Upper and Lower Sargelu (Middle Jurassic), Alan, Mus and Adaiyah/Upper Sarki (time equivalent Butmah)/(Lower Jurassic) with both fracture and matrix porosity. The Alan anhydrites form a pressure barrier between the Upper/Middle Jurassic and Lower Jurassic reservoirs.
Well tests have confirmed the existence of a 420m 25o-27o API oil column, underlain by a transition zone of around 250 m where API gravity decreases with depth from around 22o API to 14o API. The oil columns are present and producible with the help of electrical submersible pumps in both the Upper/Middle Jurassic reservoirs and the Lower Jurassic reservoirs. Deepest producible oil was demonstrated by the CK-6 well at a depth of -460 m msl. Water was produced in the AT-3 well at a depth of -498 msl. None of the tests in the oil zone produced any formation water on test.
In addition to the Jurassic oil discovery in the hanging wall of the Chiya Khere structure, the Atrush Block has potential additional upside in the Chiya Khere hanging wall Triassic, Chiya Khere footwall reservoirs (Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic) and a southern extension of the Swara Tika structure into the Atrush Block.
The construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility is complete. Commissioning is in progress and is expected to be complete in advance of the Feeder Pipeline.
Engineering and design of water injection facilities has commenced and will continue in 2017.
Oil Export Pipeline
TAQA, as operator of the Atrush PSC, is responsible for the construction of the Spur Pipeline to the block boundary. The construction of the Spur Pipeline is substantially complete. Construction of the pump station and the IPPR is nearing completion and is expected to be finalised by the end of this year.
Work has commenced on the Feeder Pipeline which will ultimately be owned by the KRG. The complexity of commercial and legal discussions has led to delays in the start of construction of the Feeder Pipeline. Completion is targeted for the first quarter of 2017 but due to onset of winter conditions it is probable that it will slip to the second quarter of 2017. Production start is planned to begin after the Feeder Pipeline is commissioned.
AT-2, the final of four initial producing wells all equipped with electric submersible pumps, was completed in the third quarter of this year. The four initial producing wells are all connected to the Production Facility and now ready for start up.
Plans in 2017 are to drill and test CK-7, an appraisal and development well located in the central area of the Atrush Block, and CK-9, a dedicated water disposal well.
As part of its normal business the Company continues to evaluate new opportunities.