Iraq plans oil drilling

Nov 27, 2009 01:00 AM

The state-run Iraq Drilling Company plans to drill 180 oil wells in 2010, and will be able to drill more than 250 new wells every year from 2011 onwards, company boss Idrees al-Yassiri said.
Thirty of the new wells planned for 2010 will be in northern oilfields and 150 in the south, adding roughly 360,000 barrels of oil per day to Iraq's output capacity, Iraqi Drilling Company director Yassiri told. The number of new wells next year will exceed the total number drilled in the six and a half years since the US invasion, he said.

"The approximate production that each well will add is 2000 bpd, that is, they will together add 360,000 bpd and this will mean additional revenue of billions of dollars for Iraq," Yassiri said.
"In 2011 the production capacity of the Iraq Drilling Company will exceed 250 wells annually," he added.

Iraq currently produces around 2.5 mm bpd, and has struggled to ramp up production because its oil infrastructure has been left in a state of decay after decades of war, sanctions and underinvestment.
That may soon change. The country is in the process of signing multibillion-dollar deals with global oil majors that will nearly triple crude output to 7 mm bpd and transform it into the third-largest crude producer in the world.

The first agreement finalised is for BP and China National Petroleum Corporation to develop Rumaila, Iraq's largest oilfield. It was the only contract successfully bid on at Iraq's first tender of oilfield deals in June.
Subsequent negotiations have led to initial agreements for an ENI-led group to develop Zubair and an ExxonMobil-led group to take on West Qurna Phase One.

The drilling programme spoken of by Yassiri appeared to be separate to those deals.
Oil Minister Hussain Shahristani has said Iraq will not sit by idly, leaving all the work to foreign companies, but would push on with its own plans to boost output.

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