Japanese exploration and production (E&P) company Inpex has discovered an oil reserve in onshore Iraq during the drilling of an exploration well which it expects to develop commercially.

Located 150km west from the city of Basra, the oil deposits were found on the 5,600km2 onshore Exploration Block 10 in the southern part of the country.

Inpex has a 40% stake in the block through its subsidiary Inpex South Iraq while the remainder 60% is held by Lukoil Overseas Iraq Exploration, a subsidiary of Russial oil producer PJSC Lukoil.

While Lukoil is the operator of the block, Inpex is entitled to jointly involve in the data analysis from seismic surveys and also from an exploratory drilling campaign.

A statement released by Inpex on the new development read: “A discovery at the block is expected to lead to Inpex’s successful crude oil development business operations in Iraq, a key oil producing country that is home to some of the world’s largest oil fields.

“The realization of the commercial development of crude oil successfully discovered in the block is expected to contribute to Inpex’s pursuit of the continuous enhancement of E&P activities, which is positioned as one of three growth targets outlined in the company’s “Medium- to Long-Term Vision.””

The considerably productive oil reservoir indentified by Inpex and Lukoil through their exploratory drilling campaign is on the Mishrif horizon. Daily production volume capacity of the reservoir has been estimated to be over 8,000 barrels based on the subsequently held crude oil production tests.

The two firms predict the presence of a large oil field based on the results and subject to evaluation results of further exploration activities.

In the coming days, the partners will continue analyzing data from the crude oil production tests. Besides, they would also go ahead with the preparations needed for the additional exploration activities to assess scope for commercial development.

Image: Location map of Block 10 where the oil deposits were discovered. Photo: courtesy of INPEX CORPORATION.