Canadian explorer Oryx Petroleum has kicked off drilling at an appraisal well in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) part of Iraq.
The company has spudded the Banan-2 probe on the Hawler licence with the Sakson Hilong 10 rig.
The well is 5 kilometres north-west of the Banan-1 discovery well and is targeting oil potential in Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic formations.
The well is planned to be drilled to 3800 metres, with drilling and testing expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.
Chief operating officer Henry Legarre, Oryx Petroleum's Chief Operating Officer commented: "This is one of the most important wells we will drill in 2014 as it allows us to assess the multi-hundred million barrel potential up-dip of the Banan-1 exploration well that was successfully tested earlier this year.
“The drilling of Banan-2 and the acquisition of 3D seismic in the next few months should provide us with a better understanding of the full potential of the Banan discovery."
Oryx operates the Hawler licence area near KRG’s capital of Erbil that contains Demir Dagh on a 65% stake with Korea National Oil Corporation and the KRG as interest partners.
Last month it reported one successful and one unsuccessful appraisal of its Demir Dagh light oil discovery.
The Demir Dagh 3 appraisal will be completed as a producer after flows from its targeted Jurassic and Cretaceous formations with four drill-stem tests.
The Africa- and Middle East-focused explorer has also contracted a seismic provider to acquire 440 square kilometres of 3D seismic over the Demir Dagh, Banan and Zey Gawra discoveries in a survey due to start next month.