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. The Sarta-3 well began production at an initial rate of over 5,000 bopd, with an API gravity of c.27 degrees, in line with expectations. Tanker loadings are now underway, with oil being transported to Khurmala for offloading into the export pipeline.

The Sarta-2 workover operation is on track to be completed in December and the well onstream from January. It is expected that a stable production level will be reached in Q1 2021.

Preparations for the 2021 appraisal drilling campaign, which is targeting a material portion of the 250 MMbbls of contingent resources in the Jurassic, are ongoing.

This appraisal campaign will begin with the Sarta-6 well in H1 2021, followed by the Sarta-5 well and Sarta-1D re-entry. Well pad and road access civil works are well underway at both the Sarta-6 and Sarta-5 locations, and minor remedial civil works are also about to commence at the existing Sarta-1D site.