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WesternZagros spuds Mil Qasim well in Kurdistan

Crude oil and natural gas explorer WesternZagros Resources (CVE:WZR) said Monday it has started drilling at its Mil Qasim-1 well on the Garmian Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Mil Qasim-1 is located three kilometers to the south-east of the company's Sarqala-1 discovery well. The company is targeting the prospective Upper Fars interval in both wells, which displayed numerous oil shows, including oil to surface in the drilling mud.

The planned total depth for the Mil Qasim-1 well is approximately 2,400 metres, WesternZagros said.

"This is the first well to be drilled on the Mil Qasim structure, which we believe could potentially be developed jointly with Sarqala," said CEO, Simon Hatfield.

"With an independently audited mean estimate of 106 million barrels of prospective oil resources at Mil Qasim, we're excited to explore this structure, which is also the second of the three wells that make up our objective of discovering 800 million barrels of oil by mid-2012."

As operator of the Garmian block, WesternZagros is currently funding 100% of drilling operations, until a third party is assigned a 40% working interest in the block by the Kurdistan government. The company expects gross costs associated with drilling and testing operations to be in the range of US$30 to 35 million.

Drilling Mil Qasim-1 fulfills the company's work obligation under the first exploration sub-period of the Garmian production-sharing contract with the local government.