Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Update on Iraqi Oil Production

Time for an update on the progress, or rather lack of it, in Iraqi oil production.  Recall that following decades of neglect, sanctions, and war damage, the Iraqi oil ministry under Hussein al-Shahristani is trying to massively expand production, supposedly to 12mbd within 7 years (though probably Dr al-Shahristani is the only person on the planet who thinks that target will be hit in full).

The graph above shows the latest data from four different sources, together with an average index.  The data are current as of September to November depending on source.  As you can see, there was a small drop in early 2010, and then it's been roughly flat since then.

This interesting UPI story gives some field level detail on what's going on with the new projects, most of which are only just getting started:
Rumaila: Iraq's biggest field with the equivalent of 17.8 billion barrels of oil. That makes it the fourth largest oil field in the world. It contains around 15 percent of Iraq's oil. It is operated by BP and the China National Petroleum Corp.

Production is 1.052 million bpd and is expected to reach its initial production rate of 1.065 million bpd by the end of the year, Jafaar says. That's three years ahead of schedule.

West Qurna 1: Contains 8.7 billion barrels. Exxon Mobil of the United States and Royal Dutch Shell secured the production contract in 2009. Production has been slipping but is expected to hit the IPR of 285,000 bpd within a year.

West Qurna 2: Holds 12.9 billion barrels and is operated by a consortium headed by Russia's Lukoil and StatoilHydro of Norway. Peak production of 1.8 million bpd is expected by the end of 2012, sustainable for more than a decade.

Majnoon: With reserves of 12.6 billion barrels, this is one of the top Iraqi fields and lies near the border with Iran. It is operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas, which say they have boosted production from a paltry 46,000 bpd to 70,000 bpd, rising eventually to 1.8 million bpd.

Zubair: Operated by a consortium of Italy's ENI, the U.S. Occidental Petroleum Corp. and the Korea Gas Corp. of South Korea. It has reserves of 4.1 billion barrels. Production is 200,000 bpd, up from 183,000 bpd in 2009. That's expected to eventually reach 1.2 million bpd.

Halfaya: Contains 4.1 billion barrels and is operated by the China National Petroleum Corp. Production is running at 3,600 bpd but potential output has been pegged as high as 535,000 bpd.

The Baghdad government expects production from just three of these fields -- Rumaila, West Qurna 2 and Zubair -- to hit 7 million bpd within six years.
I guess the bits of improvement cited here were more than offset by problems and disruptions elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if 2011 goes any better than 2010.


Lars-Eric Bjerke said...


I guess that if Iraq´s plans are not fulfilled then the IEA New Policies Scenario will fail.

"Oil demand (excluding biofuels) continues to grow steadily in the New Policies Scenario, reaching about 99 million barrels per day by 2035 – 15 mb/d up on 2009. Global oil production reaches 96 mb/d, the balance of 3 mb/d coming from processing gains. Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68-69 mb/d by 2020, but never regains its all time peak of 70 mb/d reached in 2006, while production of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and unconventional oil grows strongly. Total OPEC production rises continually through to 2035 in this Scenario, its share of global output increasing from 41% to 52%. Iraq accounts for a large share of the increase in OPEC output."

James said...

News or rumour about Al Shahristani's prospects for getting the Oil Minister post in the new Iraq government:

The Rational Pessimist said...

Seeing numerous articles highlighting the fact that Iraqi exports hit a new post-invasion high of 2.2m bpd in Feb, but the latest Brookings Iraq Index showing some indicators starting to deteriorate post US troop withdrawal.


I look at Iraq Today to get a real time feel for the security situation.


Looking at the daily litany of bombings, I feel that the IEA must be on Gaddafi's hallucinogenic drugs if they think Iraq will back-stop global energy needs going forward.