CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2013) -
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES
WesternZagros Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:WZR) ("WesternZagros" or "the Company") has spudded the latest well of its extensive exploration and appraisal program in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Drilling began on the Kurdamir-3 appraisal well on the Kurdamir Block on February 22, 2013. 3D seismic surveys are also underway on both the Kurdamir and Garmian Blocks, and preparations are progressing for the three wells on the Garmian Block planned for 2013.
Simon Hatfield, CEO of WesternZagros commented,
"2013 promises to be an exciting, transformational year for the Company. We are actively delineating our two major discoveries at Sarqala and Kurdamir and also pursuing high-impact step-out exploration on our Baram and Hasira prospects."
KURDAMIR BLOCK (Operated by Talisman (Block K44) B.V.)
Kurdamir-3 Appraisal Well
Drilling operations have begun at the Kurdamir-3 appraisal well on the giant Kurdamir Discovery. The well was spudded on February 22, 2013. The well is expected to take approximately four months to reach the planned total depth of 2,800 metres. The Company expects the gross costs of drilling and testing operations to be $50 million.
The Kurdamir-3 well is being drilled on the southwest flank of the Kurdamir structure approximately three kilometers and five kilometers from the Company's Kurdamir-1 and Kurdamir-2 discovery wells respectively. Kurdamir-3 will further appraise the extent of the oil leg in the Oligocene interval previously encountered in the Kurdamir 1 and 2 wells.
Kurdamir 3D Seismic Survey
This survey started in January, 2013 and is expected to be completed early in the third quarter of 2013. The survey encompasses 184 square kilometres on the Kurdamir Block and also extends into the neighbouring Topkhana Block in order to define more clearly the areal extent of the Oligocene, Eocene and Cretaceous reservoirs. The data from this survey will be used to decide on future appraisal well locations and refine resource assessments of the existing discovery.
GARMIAN BLOCK (Operated by WesternZagros)
South Garmian 2D and 3D Seismic Survey
This survey, which is over 50 percent complete, encompasses 325 square kilometers and covers the Sarqala and Mil Qasim discoveries and the Zardi Complex prospect in the southern portion of the Garmian Block. The survey was started on November 1, 2012 and includes four 2D seismic lines that have been acquired over the Chwar prospect. Processing and interpretation of the seismic data is underway and will be used in the appraisal of Sarqala and Mil Qasim and in identifying exploration targets for 2014. This survey is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2013.
Hasira-1 Exploration and Appraisal Well
The Hasira-1 well, is planned to spud early in the second quarter of 2013, in order to appraise the extent of the oil leg previously encountered in the Jeribe reservoir at Sarqala-1 and also to explore the Oligocene reservoir beneath the Jeribe. Significant oil shows were encountered in the Oligocene interval at Sarqala-1 but the Company was unable to evaluate them due to wellbore conditions. Hasira-1 is expected to take approximately seven months to drill to a planned total depth of 4,100 metres. The drilling rig is currently being prepared in North America for deployment to the Kurdistan Region. The gross costs of drilling and testing operations at Hasira-1 are expected to be $60 million.
Baram-1 Exloration Well
The Baram-1 well, is planned to spud in the third quarter of 2013, in order to explore a potential extension of the oil leg in the Oligocene reservoir of the Kurdamir discovery into the Garmian Block. WesternZagros expects the well to take approximately five months to reach the planned total depth of 3,800 metres. An additional drilling rig is also currently being prepared in North America. The Company expects the gross costs of drilling and testing operations to be $55 million. The Company believes that this well has the potential to also prove up significant additional gross contingent oil resources on the Kurdamir Block if the Baram-1 drilling results support the Company's interpretation that the Baram structure is a potential extension of the Kurdamir discovery.
The completion of either Baram-1 or Hasira-1 in 2013 would fulfill the Company's obligations under the second exploration sub-period of the Garmian PSC, prior to any extension of such sub-period.
Upper Bakhtiari Three-Well Drilling Program
This program is to explore the potential of the shallow (500 to 700 metres depth) Upper Bakhtiari formation in the southern part of the Garmian Block through a low cost, three well drilling program. The Company plans to spud the first well in the second quarter of 2013 subject to the availability of a drilling rig in Kurdistan.
About WesternZagros Resources Ltd.
WesternZagros is an international natural resources company engaged in acquiring properties and exploring for, developing and producing crude oil and natural gas in Iraq. WesternZagros, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, holds a working interest in each of the Garmian Block and Kurdamir Block Production Sharing Contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. WesternZagros is the operator and holds a 40 percent interest in the Garmian Contract Area. Gazprom Neft Middle East B.V. ("Gazprom Neft") and the KRG hold 40 percent and 20 percent working interests respectively. WesternZagros also holds a 40 percent interest in the Kurdamir Contract Area. Talisman (Block K44) B.V., as the operator, holds a 40 percent interest and the KRG hold the remaining 20 percent working interest. WesternZagros funds 60 percent of costs on the Kurdamir Block and 50 percent of the costs on the Garmian Block. WesternZagros's shares trade in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "WZR".
This news release contains certain forward‐looking information relating, but not limited, to future drilling and appraisal plans, and the timing associated therewith. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "potential", "could", or similar words suggesting future outcomes. The Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on forward‐looking information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by WesternZagros. In addition, the forward‐looking information is made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise such to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
Forward‐looking information is not based on historical facts but rather on management's current expectations and assumptions regarding, among other things, plans for and results of drilling activity and testing programs, future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof), continued political stability, and timely receipt of any necessary government or regulatory approvals. Although the Company believes the expectations and assumptions reflected in such forward‐looking information are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect. Forward‐looking information involves significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by WesternZagros including, but not limited to, risks associated with the oil and gas industry (e.g. operational risks in exploration; inherent uncertainties in interpreting geological data; changes in plans with respect to exploration or capital expenditures; interruptions in operations together with any associated insurance proceedings; the uncertainty of estimates and projections in relation to costs and expenses and health, safety and environmental risks), the risk of commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, the uncertainty associated with negotiating with foreign governments and risk associated with international activity. For further information on WesternZagros and the risks associated with its business, please see the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 26, 2012 (the "AIF"), which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
WESTERNZAGROS RESOURCES WAS RECOGNIZED AS A TSX VENTURE 50® COMPANY IN 2013. TSX VENTURE 50 IS A TRADE-MARK OF TSX INC. AND IS USED UNDER LICENSE.