Iraq to up­grade south­ern oil out­put ca­pac­ity in 2019: Of­fi­cial

Gulf Times Business - - FRONT PAGE -

Iraq plans to raise out­put from its south­ern Ma­jnoon oil­field to 290,000 bar­rels per day (bpd) by the end of 2019 and to 450,000 bpd by the end of 2021 from a cur­rent 240,000 bpd, the direc­tor of the Basra Oil Com­pany said.

Ih­san Ab­dul Jab­bar, in an in­ter­view with Reuters late yes­ter­day, said Iraq’s south­ern oil ex­ports were a lit­tle be­low 3.6mn bpd so far in Jan­uary after hit­ting a record high of 3.63mn bpd in De­cem­ber.

Iraq, Opec’s se­cond-largest pro­ducer, is pro­duc­ing be­low its max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of nearly 5mn bpd in line with an agree­ment among mem­bers of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries and other ex­porters, such as Russia, to cur­tail global sup­ply in or­der to sup­port prices. Baghdad is still aim­ing to in­crease that ca­pac­ity, how­ever, es­pe­cially from its south­ern fields, where ex­ports ac­count for around 95% of state rev­enue. Iraq’s oil ex­ports av­er­aged 3.726mn bar­rels per day (bpd) in De­cem­ber, an in­crease from the pre­vi­ous month.

Ab­dul Jab­bar said Hyundai En­gi­neer­ing was the front run­ner to win a ten­der to build a vi­tal wa­ter in­jec­tion project in south­ern Iraq.

Basra Oil Co be­gan pre­par­ing to ten­der for the project in Fe­bru­ary last year if talks with Exxon Mo­bil failed, the head of the oil min­istry’s li­cens­ing and con­tracts of­fice said at the time. The oil min­istry re­ceived bids from three for­eign con­trac­tors for the project, the oil min­is­ter said in Novem­ber.

Iraq is also plan­ning to op­er­ate a new off­shore oil ex­port pipe­line with a ca­pac­ity to trans­port 700,000 bpd by the end of 2019, Ab­dul Jab­bar said.

Iraq had ap­proved an in­vest­ment budget of around $7bn for 2019 to de­velop five gi­ant oil­fields in the Basra re­gion, he said.

Around $700mn would go to­wards de­vel­op­ment of the Ma­jnoon field.

A deal was agreed with US com­pany Sch­lum­berger Ltd to drill 40 wells at Ma­jnoon, the oil min­istry said last month.

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