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Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Significant operational progress has been made on the Shaikan block since the Shaikan-1 discovery in 2009 to the ramp up of production and crude oil export sales levels of today.

The Shaikan block, operated by Gulf Keystone, is situated about 60 km to the north-west of Erbil covering an area of 283 km². The Production Sharing Contract (“PSC”) for the Shaikan block was awarded in November 2007.



The Shaikan Discovery 

  • August 2009 - Gulf Keystone announced the Shaikan discovery as a result of its first exploration well
  • August 2012 - Shaikan was declared a commercial discovery 
  • June 2013 - The Kurdistan Regional Government's Ministry of Natural Resources approved the Shaikan Field Development Plan
  • July 2013 - Shaikan commercial production commenced 
  • December 2013 - Crude export deliveries to Turkey commenced 
  • December 2014 – Production of 40,000 bopd achieved 
  • August 2017 - Cumulative production from the Shikan field reached 40 million barrels 

On 27 April 2009 the Company spudded its first exploration well, Shaikan-1 and on 6 August 2009 it announced a significant discovery. In 2010, acquisition of 599 km² of 3D seismic data was completed over the Shaikan block with data processed during 2011. 

Gulf Keystone was originally awarded a 75% working interest.  In February 2010 Texas Keystone, Inc. assigned its 5% working interest to Gulf Keystone.

Following completion of the successful five-well appraisal programme, Shaikan was declared a commercial discovery in August 2012. 

In January 2013 the Shaikan Field Development Plan was submitted and gained approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government's Ministry of Natural Resources in June 2013. Thereafter, the Company commenced commercial production operations and subsequently crude oil export sales. 

Two production facilities capable of producing 40,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") are currently in operation at Shaikan. Shaikan is being developed in phases with a view to increasing nameplate production capacity to 55,000 bopd in the near term, and further beyond.

Initially the Company monetised the Shaikan production with domestic sales until crude oil export deliveries to Turkey commenced in 2013. In July 2015, the Company commenced trucking Shaikan crude oil a distance of 120 km to Fishkhabour on the Turkish border for injection into the export pipeline to Ceyhan in Turkey. During July 2018 the tie-in of the 400m spur pipeline from PF-2 to the Atrush export pipeline system was completed and all production from PF-2 (c.14,500 bopd) is now being exported via this pipeline. Oil from PF-1 is currently being trucked to the DNO facility at Fishkhabour for export via Turkey. However, we have recently agreed terms for the installation of a 16 kilometre pipeline from PF-1 into the export pipeline system. Work has started on this project and we anticipate completion mid-2019, which would result in all of Shaikan's production being exported by pipeline and the elimination of the trucking of crude oil, providing cost savings and HSSE benefits.