US supermajor ExxonMobil is exiting a block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq that it once operated after striking a deal with Oslo-listed independent DNO.

The Irving, Texas-based oil and gas giant has agreed to sell its remaining 32% stake in the Baeshiqa block to Norway's DNO for an undisclosed amount.


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The deal will see DNO double its stake to 64% having initially taken 32% from then operator ExxonMobil in 2018, also acquiring operatorship at that time.

DNO said it plans to continue with an exploration and appraisal drilling programme on the block and is aiming for fast-track early production from existing wells this year.

The 324 square kilometer licence is situated 60 kilometers west of the regional capital Erbil and 20 kilometers east of Mosul.

It contains two large structures, Baeshiqa and Zartik, which have multiple independent stacked target reservoir systems, including in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic.

DNO currently estimates gross licence contingent recoverable resources from three of the tested zones in the two discovery wells — on the Baeshiqa and Zartik structures — of between 12 million and 156 million barrels of oil, with a best estimate contingent volume of 43 million barrels.

DNO's move to 64% is subject to governmental approval. The other licence partners are TEC on a 16% net interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government with a 20% carried interest.