Canada-based oil exploration company Oryx Petroleum has begun drilling of the third exploration well AAS-1 in the Hawler license area in the Kurdistan region, Iraq.

The company is drilling the well using Sakson Hilong 10 rig.

Oryx is drilling the exploration well to target the Ain Al Safra prospect, which is estimated to hold 225 million barrels in unrisked gross prospective oil resources.

The objective of the well is to target the deeper light oil potential in the lower Jurassic and Triassic and heavy oil potential in the Cretaceous.

The total depth of the well is expected to reach about 4,220m in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The company has drilled DD-2 exploration well targeting the Demir Dagh and the ZEG-1 exploration well targeting the Zey Gawra prospect, which is expected to reach total depth in the third quarter of 2013.

Oryx is the operator and has a 65% participating and working interest in the Hawler license area.