Genel reached agreement to acquire stakes in the Chevron operated Sarta block, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in January 2019. Production began in November 2020.

Genel acquired 30% equity in the Sarta licence by paying a 50% share of ongoing field development costs until a specific production target is reached, together with a success fee payable on achievement of a production milestone. Chevron retain a 50% interest in the Sarta licence and the Kurdistan Regional Government hold the remaining 20%.

Despite the significant operational challenges caused by COVID-19, including the closure of borders impacting supply chains and the movement of people into the KRI, work continued at Sarta throughout 2020. First oil production was achieved less than 21 months after the acquisition of the stake was completed.

Production began with first oil flowing from the Sarta-3 well into the Early Production Facility, and the well produced at an average of c.5,500 bopd in the first two weeks of 2021. This was joined in February by the Sarta-2 well, which brought field production to over 10,000 bopd, a figure that is expected to rise as field facilities are optimised.

The 2021 appraisal drilling campaign is targeting a material portion of the 250 MMbbls of existing contingent resources, and prospective resources, in Jurassic formations.

The campaign will begin at the start of Q2. Sarta-5 and Sarta-6 will be drilled back to back, with results from the first well expected in Q3, and operations on both wells complete in Q4 2021. Re-entry and deepening of the Sarta-1 (S-1D) well is expected around the middle of the year. Should S-1D be successful, a flowline will be constructed in order to enable the well to enter production around the end of 2021.