How have the company’s activities developed since your entrance to the Kurdistan market?
MOL Group’s presence in the Kurdistan Region dates back to November 2007, when MOL was awarded two exploration licenses. Due to a relatively early entry into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, MOL Group established a strong position and had an excellent relationship with local communities and the government. As we have three significant discoveries in both blocks, our primary aim is currently to develop and commercialize the discoveries. Our focus has shifted from exploration activity to field development and early production.

The combination of sizeable onshore resource potential, relatively favorable economic terms and low geological risk makes the Kurdistan Region a highly attractive investment proposition, which has been recognized by more and more international E&P companies.

Can you update us on the status of the Akri-Bijeel Block? When is the Field Development Plan expected to be completed, and when will the field begin to produce commercially?
We can proudly present that the production has been started from Bijell field using the existing surface facility at Bijell-1 site. The liquid handling capacity of the EWT facility is 10,000 bopd, which is the production target by the end of 2014. The ongoing work program contains the drilling of Bijell-2, Bijell-4 and Bijell-6 wells, all of them will be tied in to the mentioned facility. The Field Development Plan is under preparation, and the submission date is April 30th, 2014. Our plan is very ambitious; we are going to conduct a 4-rig campaign from now on until reaching the production plateau.

How does the company help to develop the local staff?
Kalegran strongly believes in investing in human capital. The company provides on the job training for fresh graduates by hiring them under the umbrella of the Growww Program, MOL Group’s unique recruitment and development program. Moreover, the company provides local, international and in-house training to its employees.

How would you assess the Kurdistan Region’s role as an energy hub in the medium term?
From the geological point of view, the Kurdistan Region is one of the most attractive regions in the world. The Region has enjoyed significant exploration success since 2004. The combination of sizeable onshore resource potential, relatively favorable economic terms and low geological risk makes the Kurdistan Region a highly attractive investment proposition, which has been recognized by more and more international E&P companies. Now the Region has reached a more developed stage, where the key challenge is to commercialize and monetize the exploration success of the Region. Several field development programs have been started recently or will start soon and the construction of a new pipeline to Turkey from the Kurdistan Region is also a catalyst and a key step towards developing the Region’s oil industry.