Iraq’s plans to boost oil production

The Iraqi government aims to intensify its oil activities, building new refineries, new oil pipelines and pumping water from the Gulf into oil reservoirs.

To maintain its second place in the biggest OPEC producers ranking Iraq is already empowering its oil fields. The Iraqi government aims to empower the provision of the gigantic Majnoon oil field by 450,000 bpd. Basra Oil Company is examining the offers coming from three service companies that aim to develop a new infrastructure. Chevron, Total and PetroChina could create a collaboration for the development of the field, explains Iraq’s oil minister Jabar al Luaibi, while Shell said that its efforts will focus on the development of Basra Oil Company as soon as operations management Majnoon will have passed into the hands of the Iraqi government.

Last October Iraqi Oil Minister said Iraq was in final talks with Exxon on developing a project, which consists of building oil pipelines, storage and a mechanism to inject water from the Gulf into oil reservoirs. “We cannot wait for a longer time unless Exxon Mobil accepts the deal for the benefit of the two parties” said Abdul Mahdi al-Ameedi, head of the ministry’s licensing and contracts office. “In the beginning when we discussed with them, the initial production rate from the two fields was in the order of 40,000 bpd, but now it is more than 125,000 bpd” he said.

In the meanwhile the French oil major Total seems interested in bidding to build the greenfield 150,000 barrels per day Nassirya oil refinery in Iraq. Last year, the Iraqi oil ministry said Petrochina was also interested in the refinery project. The refinery project was originally envisioned with a 300,000 barrels per day capacity that would be integrated with development of the Nassirya oilfield. “Bids are still open for the project and international oil companies interested in the project would be bidding as refiners only”, said the Director General of Iraq’s Dhi Qar Oil Co Ali Warid Hammood. The field is currently producing 80,000 -100,000 barrels per day and the company plans to double production capacity to 200,000 bpd within the next three years. But production levels are expected to remain stable this year.

With a production of 4.36 million dollars recorded in the month of January, Iraq is the second OPEC producer after Saudi Arabia; production is less than the maximum capacity of about 5 million barrels per day as a result of the Vienna agreements at the end of 2016.

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