WesternZagros Resources Ltd.

WesternZagros Resources Ltd.

October 13, 2010 05:30 ET

WesternZagros Concludes Kurdamir-1 Well Control Operations and Prepares to Test the Lower Oligocene

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2010) -


WesternZagros Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:WZR) ("WesternZagros" or "the Company") has successfully and safely completed well control operations at the Kurdamir-1 well and is preparing to test for the presence of hydrocarbons in the Lower Oligocene formation. Having encountered significant gas and gas condensate in the Upper Oligocene formation in late 2009 in the interval from 2,144 metres to 2,312 metres WesternZagros now intends to run a cased hole test of a 50 metre thick zone below 2,350 metres.

The open hole in the Kurdamir-1 well has been plugged and cemented up to approximately 2,500 metres, concluding WesternZagros' well control operations. No further drilling is planned for Kurdamir-1 at this time.

"With the well control issues finally behind us, we are getting back to the business of finding oil and gas," said Simon Hatfield, WesternZagros' Chief Executive Officer. "Having previously made a large gas and condensate discovery in the Upper Oligocene reservoir, we are optimistic that the test we are about to conduct will confirm additional resources in this prolific area. We are also now turning our attention to the next of our drilling opportunities in the region."

While the previous Upper Oligocene test rates were limited due to testing equipment restrictions, an initial well test analysis conducted by an independent third party indicated that reservoir production potential of approximately 52 million cubic feet per day of gas and 2,240 barrels per day of condensate could be expected from this interval. The decision to test the Lower Oligocene at this time is based on recent wireline log analysis, which shows that even though the reservoir in the Lower Oligocene does not appear to be of the same quality as that of the Upper Oligocene, the potential exists, nonetheless, to confirm the presence of either an oil leg below the discovered gas condensate column, or a larger gas and gas condensate column.

Insurance Claim Update

WesternZagros' share of the Kurdamir-1 well costs is estimated to be $72 million (gross $123 million) to the end of well control operations. Of this $72 million, approximately $39 million is related to well control operations alone. The Company expects future testing operations will cost approximately $4 million (gross $7 million). WesternZagros has received approximately $16 million in insurance proceeds and has submitted claims for an additional approximately $23 million, which it expects to recover.

Drilling Update

At the Kurdamir-1 well, WesternZagros encountered a number of zones of interest in addition to the Oligocene formation, with significant oil shows in the Upper Aaliji, Shiranish and Kometan formations. WesternZagros will not be testing these additional formations in Kurdamir-1 due to wellbore conditions, however further exploration of these zones remains a prime goal. WesternZagros and its co-venturers, the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") and Talisman Block K44 B.V. ("Talisman"), are investigating drilling another well at Kurdamir to obtain a thorough and definitive evaluation of the potential of the structure. This well – Kurdamir-2 – will likely be spudded after drilling the third exploration well required under the Production Sharing Contract ("PSC") that WesternZagros holds with the KRG.

WesternZagros is in active discussions with the KRG and Talisman to determine the optimum way to conduct future activities in the Production Sharing Contract area. WesternZagros had identified two locations, Mil Qasim and Qulijan, as potential drilling opportunities to meet the third well commitment, and is currently preparing to drill Mil Qasim. The Company has also revisited the results of Sarqala-1, its first well drilled in Kurdistan, and completed a revised analysis of the oil shows in the Miocene Jeribe reservoir encountered in that well. WesternZagros is evaluating the possibility of drilling a short sidetrack to re-enter the Sarqala-1 well in order to test this zone, once the Kurdamir-1 test is completed.

About WesternZagros Resources Ltd.

WesternZagros is an international natural resources company engaged in acquiring properties and exploring for, developing and producing crude oil and natural gas in Iraq. The Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, holds a Production Sharing Contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. WesternZagros' shares trade in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "WZR".

About Kurdamir-1

WesternZagros began drilling the Kurdamir-1 well in May 2009, announced a large Oligocene gas and condensate discovery in November 2009, and reached a total depth of 4,077 metres in January 2010. While numerous promising oil and gas shows were encountered in the Tertiary and Cretaceous formations penetrated, the wellbore conditions experienced have only allowed the Company to conduct tests in the Oligocene reservoir interval.

About Sarqala-1

Saraqala-1 is located in the southern portion of the PSC area. WesternZagros spudded the Sarqala-1 well in 2008 and drilled it to a total depth of 4,357 metres. It was suspended in early 2009. While numerous oil and gas shows were encountered, the wellbore conditions encountered did not allow the Company to test the well nor penetrate all the reservoir targets. The Company is evaluating the potential to re-enter this well in order to test the Jeribe reservoir.

About Mil Qasim

Mil Qasim is an anticline defined from seismic data, the crest of which lies approximately three kilometres from the Sarqala-1 well. Target reservoirs are Upper Fars sandstones, which are anticipated to be oil bearing. Testing this prospect would require a well to be drilled to a proposed total depth of 2,400 metres, penetrating known and less complex geological formations than those penetrated at either Sarqala or Kurdamir.

About Qulijan

Qulijan is a prospect located close to the Kurdamir-1 discovery well. It is an anticlinal structure with upside potential dependent on fault seal against the fault that separates it from Kurdamir. Similar to Kurdamir-1, the targeted reservoir is located in the Oligocene formation. Testing this prospect will require a well targeted to a depth of approximately 3,800 metres.

This news release contains certain forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to operational information, future drilling plans and testing programs and the timing and costs associated therewith. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "potential", "could", or similar words suggesting future outcomes. The Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by WesternZagros. Readers are also cautioned that disclosed test rates and potential production rates may not be indicative of ultimate production levels. In addition, the forward-looking information is made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise such to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

Forward-looking information is not based on historical facts but rather on management's current expectations and assumptions regarding, among other things, plans for and results of drilling activity, future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof), continued political stability, timely receipt of any necessary government or regulatory approvals, the continued participation of the Company's co-venturers in exploration activities and the timely receipt of any insurance proceeds due to the Company. Although the Company believes the expectations and assumptions reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect. Forward-looking information involves significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by WesternZagros including, but not limited to, risks associated with the oil and gas industry (e.g. operational risks in exploration; inherent uncertainties in interpreting geological data; changes in plans with respect to exploration or capital expenditures; interruptions in operations together with any associated insurance proceedings; the uncertainty of estimates and projections in relation to costs and expenses and health, safety and environmental risks), risks associated with resource estimates, the risk of commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, the uncertainty associated with negotiating with foreign governments and risk associated with international activity. For further information on WesternZagros and the risks associated with its business, please see the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 24, 2010 which is available at www.sedar.com.


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