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Monday, January 10, 2011
Iraq ups output by 300,000 barrels from 3 key oil fields
Iraq has raised crude oil production more quickly than expected-achieving an increase of more than 300,000 bpd above the current 2.4mn bpd, a senior Iraqi oil official said yesterday.
“We are hoping to reach a total of 3mn bpd by the end of 2011,” said Abdul Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of Iraq’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate, in an exclusive interview with Dow Jones Newswires.
Production at the supergiant Rumaila oil field, Iraq’s largest, in the southern Basra governorate has reached 1.275mn bpd: a 20% rise on initial output rate which was 1.066mn bpd, said al-Ameedi whose office engineered three bid rounds that led to awarding 15 oil and gas fields in 2009 and 2010.
Production at Rumaila, which is being developed by a consortium of BP and China National Petroleum Corp, is expected to hit a total of 1.5mn bpd by the end of this year, he added.
Output at Zubair, developed by a partnership led by Italy’s giant Eni, has been increased by 83,000 bpd to 265,000 bpd from initial rate of 182,000 bpd, or 45% increase, Ameedi said. While a consortium led by Exxon Mobil Corp has managed to increase production by 11,000 bpd from Iraq’s West Qurna Phase 1 oil field in southern Iraq, he added.
Baghdad’s 20-year service contracts oblige investors in producing oil fields to boost output by 10% above an agreed baseline rate within three years in order to start getting paid back.
Rumaila reached the 10% increase in early December, while Zubair was the first to hit the required increase in November, al-Ameedi said.
Iraq, which sits atop one of the world’s largest oil reserves, signed over the last two years some 12 major oil deals with the aim of boosting its production to 12mn bpdy by 2017. That target, however, is rather difficult to achieve because of some security problems as well as lack of infrastructure.
Analysts believe Iraq can realize no more than 6mn bpd in the next seven years. (Source: gulf-times.com)