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Iraq has informed about OPEC's plan to cut down on the crude output. This possibility is being weighed over China's coronavirus epidemic. OPEC will hold a meeting with "joint technical committee" in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday. "The technical committees are discussing the recommendations, which they will elevate to their ministers. Any further cut to outputs would only be announced in a ministerial meeting", said Iraq's oil ministry.
If sources were to be believed, oil supermajor BP has decided to withdraw from Iraq’s Kirkuk oilfield. BP's $100 million exploration contract lapsed with no agreement on the field’s development, dealing a major setback to Iraq’s hopes to enhance its oil output. The pullout comes as the energy companies re-evaluate their activities in Iraq amid political turmoil and escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
Iraq’s oil ministry, yesterday, informed about Iraqi oil exports dropping to 3.428 million barrels per day (bpd) in December. Oil exports from the country averaged 3.5 million bpd in November. The spokesman for the oil ministry, Asim Jihad informed that exports from Iraq’s southern Basra terminals reached 3.326 million bpd, down from 3.4 million bpd in November.
Iraq has decided to increase production from oil fields in Basra after the production from Nassiriya oil fields were stopped abruptly by protestors. The move aims at preventing the country's export and production from declining. Iraq can also increase the production from Majnoon oil fields to cope up with the situation. However, it is a tense situation as Nassiriya produces 80-85,000 BOPD and this is the first time when protestors have shut an entire oilfield.
Oil prices remained high in the international market on Monday, even though the traders expected lower fuel prices. The price of WTI increased by 1% to $61.73. Brent Crude rose 27% in 2019. Tensions in the Middle East escalated on Sunday, as the United States carried out airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. U.S. officials have also warned of “additional actions”.
CNPC’s subsidiary, China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp (CPECC) has secured a $121 million engineering contract in Iraq. The contract requires CPECC to renovate the facilities currently used for gas extraction during crude oil production at West Qurna-1 oilfield. The project is slated for completion in 27 months. The West Qurna-1 oilfield was developed by Exxon Mobil and produces 480,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Oil Ministry of Iraq is in conversation with energy giant ExxonMobil. Both the parties are discussing over a deal to enhance Iraq's southern oil infrastructure. Iraq has also made it clear that its deal with BP and Eni was for the construction of two seabed oil pipelines for its southern exports through the Gulf. And also, it was not a part of the $53 billion 30-year southern mega-project.
Vagit Alekperov, the President of Lukoil, has met the Iraqi Minister of Oil, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. They discussed the development of West Qurna-2 project and agreed to consider the possibility of early commissioning of Block 10 of Eridu field. Both the parties also expressed their interest in gas processing and petrochemical projects in Iraq.
ExxonMobil decided to pull out its staff from Iraq as a “precautionary and temporary” measure. Energy Minister of the Middle East nation has termed this decision as “unacceptable and unwarranted”. He further argued that “This withdrawal may send the wrong message about the situation in Iraq, and that’s something we reject”. He has also sent a letter to Exxon officials asking for clarification and enquiring the workers to return.
British oil firm, Genel Energy has inked an agreement to acquire Chevron’s stakes in Iraq oil blocks. Genel will gain ownership of 30% interest in the Sarta licence and 40% interest in the Qara Dagh licence. Until a specific production target is reached in the Sarta license, Genel will account for 50% share of ongoing field development costs. The firm will become the operator of the Qara Dagh licence.
In an interview last week, director for refineries at BPCL said that the downstream major will import 5mn tonnes of various grades of Iraqi crude in 2019. He also said that importing more crude from Iraq will let BPCL to displace some portion of the other Middle East crude. BPCL enhanced the capacity of Kochi refinery to 15mn tpa, which will allow them to process more dirty cheap crudes.
Leading oil services firm, Halliburton has secured a well drilling contract from an Eni-led consortium in Iraq. Over the next two years, the Houston-based firm will utilize up to six rigs to drill development wells in the Zubair Oil Field in Iraq. Italian oil major, Eni leads a consortium of Oxydental, Kogas and Missan on the Zubair field, which has over more than four billion barrels of reserves.
US has asked Iraq to reduce its dependency on Iran. In a meeting with top Iraqi officials in Baghdad, Rick Perry, the US Energy Secretary has urged Iraq to replace Iran with America and open the energy sector for American investment. Presently, Iraq is in a delicate situation because even after the renewed US sanctions, the nation is still reliant on Iranian gas for its electricity production.
If sources were to be believed, state-owned refiner, MRPL has inked a term deal with Iraq’s State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) to buy 1.5 million tonnes of Basra oil in 2019. MRPL, which runs a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery in India, is seeking to diversify its crude imports. MRPL didn’t comment on the matter.
DNO ASA is the oil and gas operator of Norway and has announced that the production at Peshkabir field of Iraq has increased up to 50,000 bopd. The company has informed that it has completed the 2018 target before time and below budget. Two wells have been completed recently, out of which Peshkabir-7 is producing over 10,000 bopd from nine Cretaceous zones.
Jersey’s oilfield services firm, Petrofac has extended its deal with an international Iraq-based oil company. The deal is worth £38 million. This unknown Iraqi client has requested Petrofac to continue providing “support maintenance services” and “new production enhancement facilities”. MD, EPS East commented on this deal and said, “We look forward to continuing our focus on safe and efficient delivery and the development of local resources in-country.”
With the recovery of Libyan production and Iraq’s southern exports creating records, the output of OPEC oil has hit a high of this fiscal year, the analysis of Reuters revealed. The production hiked in the month of August and 32.79 million barrels per day were pumped, which is 220,000 bpd more than the July numbers. The progress got restricted due to the US sanction resulting in halt on Iranian shipments.
Natural gas giant, Dana Gas has posted a $24 million in profits for the first half of 2018. Displaying improved underlying business performance, Dana Gas reported a 200% jump in the second-quarter profits to $36 million. The off sukuk restructuring costs sunk the profits by $2 million for the company. Dana took big steps this year in bringing transformational expansion in KRI (Kurdistan Region of Iraq).