Friday, 10 December 2010
Iraq to quadruple oil output by concentrating on six super fields
Iraq has said that it is going to quadruple its oil output by concentrating on six “super fields” which have the potential to produce in excess of 10.5 million b/d by 2017. The estimate is 1.5 million b/d short of the oil ministry's target of 12 million b/d in the next six years.
In recent months, foreign oil companies working in Iraq have awarded production contracts for the six super fields which include the Rumaila field, the West Qurna 1, the West Qurna 2, Majnoon, Zubair and the Halfaya field. Director of Iraq's state-run South Oil Company Dhiya Jaafar reported that production numbers in the region, which contains two-thirds of Iraq's known reserves, for November, reached 1.68 million b/d and were expected to reach 1.82 million b/d by the end of the years.
The six fields, estimated to hold around 74 per cent of Iraq's oil reserves, are a crucial part of oil minister Hussein Al-Shahristani's plan to hike production in order to finance post-war reconstruction of Iraq. The government is said to expect production from just three of the fields – Rumaila, West Qurna 2 and Zubair – to reach up to 7 million b/d in the next six years.
Since opening its doors to foreign investors, with advanced exploration and drilling technology, Iraq has been able to gauge its oil reserves and estimate output capacity with greater accuracy than in the past; subsequently raising its proven oil reserves from 115 billion barrels to 1.43.1 billion, an increase of 24 per cent. Analysts expect that Iraq may have another 100 billion barrels of oil in untapped reserves.
For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.