VIENNA, April 4 Austrian oil and gas group OMV
has started test production from a well in Kurdistan,
a region it wants to develop as it focuses on exploration, it
said on Thursday.
OMV said it started production from the Bina Bawi-3 well on
March 20, with an initial capacity of 5,000 barrels of oil
equivalent per day and the potential to double it as future
wells become available.
The Austrian company also said it had submitted a
declaration to the autonomous KRG Kurdistan government to say
the well was commercially viable.
"OMV sees the Kurdistan region of Iraq as an important area
for growth and the progress on the Bina Bawi field underlines
our ability to execute our strategy," the company's head of
exploration and production, Jaap Huijskes, said in a statement.
Kurdistan's exploration contracts with oil majors including
Exxon Mobil and Chevron are a source of friction
with Baghdad, as the Iraqi government says it alone has the
authority to control exports and sign contracts.
A long-running feud over the issue has delayed and
interrupted exports for several years.
OMV is at an early stage of exploration in Kurdistan. It has
two other drilling programmes at Bina Bawi, east of Erbil, and
abandoned a third programme after unsatisfactory results.
OMV holds a 36 percent stake in the Bina Bawi field. Genel
Energy holds 44 percent, with the remaining 20 percent
owned by KRG.