Total Raises KRG Stakes

France’s Total is planning to drill its first exploration well in its operated Baranan block in Iraqi Kurdistan at the end of 2014, the first update it has given since acquiring an 80% stake in the production-sharing license in early 2013. It also revealed that it had increased its stake in the Safen block from 35% to 80% and become operator, taking over from previous operator Marathon.

This leaves the French major with 35% of the Harir exploration block and 20% of the Taza production sharing contract (PSC) acquired late last year.

Detailing plans for the current year, Total said in its 2013 Annual Report that in January 2014 it completed 213km of 2D on the Baranan block. Data gathered is expected to result in the drilling of a first exploration well at the end of the year. (CONTINUED - 366 WORDS)