Sterling Energy said the start of drilling at the Sangaw North exploration well in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, is likely to be delayed due to heavy rain.

The work is expected to be postponed until the end of this month.

The AIM-listed Sterling is operator of the Sangaw North block, with a 53% stake. Swiss oil explorer Addax Petroleum and Korea National Oil Corp, South Korea’s state-run oil company, hold 26.67 and 20% repectively.

The first exploration well on the licence was planned to start drilling late in the fourth quarter of 2009.