Iraqi Oil Ministry exploration subsidiary Oil Exploration Company (OEC) has been contracted by China’s Geo-Jade and state firm Midland Oil Company to conduct a seismic program on Diyala province’s Naft Khana block. OEC CEO Osama Raaouf on 17 August said he expects his firm to deliver 770 line-km of 2D and 688km2 of 3D survey work but gave no timelines for the project.

Geo-Jade signed an Exploration, Development and Production Contract (EDPC) for the license in February after being awarded the block through Iraq’s 2018 Fifth Licensing Round (MEES, 24 February). The Chinese firm also signed a DPC for the Huwaiza block in Maysan province during the round. Last month, Missan Oil Company (MOC) internally reviewed seismic data for Huwaiza from the 1980s, stating that Geo-Jade was in the process of preparing its three-year Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) for the project, under which it is expected to spend a minimum of $60mn on acquiring 250km² of 3D seismic, demining, geophysical and geological studies in addition to drilling two exploration wells to tap the Zubair formation (MEES, 10 March). The Chinese firm had met with MOC officials in June (MEES, 9 June). Thus far, Geo-Jade has been the only Fifth Licensing Round awardee to activate its contract with Chinese compatriot UEG reportedly informing Iraq of its wish not to develop the Sindebad block in Basra province (MEES, 28 July). (CONTINUED - 224 WORDS)