LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum said on Wednesd
ay it had found substantial volumes of oil at its licence in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, at shallower depths than a previous large discovery.
Gulf Keystone estimated it had found 220 million barrels of probable oil reserves at a well drilled to test the shallower Cretaceous zones, near the large Shaikan discovery it made at greater depths in 2009.
'The Cretaceous resources evaluated by the Shaikan-3 well are massive by any standard. They represent a significant oil resource for Kurdistan and Iraq,' said Chief Operating Officer John Gerstenlauer in a statement.
Under the 'possible reserves' measurement - oil which has a 10 percent certainty of being produced - there could be 2.2 billion barrels of oil in place at the shallower levels of Shaikan, the company said.
Gulf Keystone, which has a 75 percent stake in the block, said the well would now be converted to produce oil from the deeper geological zones while it worked on a plan to develop the shallower resources.
The company is currently contesting claims made against it by Excalibur Ventures over an interest of up to 30 percent in its Kurdistan blocks.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien) Keywords: GULF KEYSTONE/
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