The summer months have seen Iraq continue with its quota-busting production run. According to figures from S&P Global Platts, the country added another 10000 bpd in July, taking output to 4.78 million bpd, leaving it 270 000 bpd over its OPEC compliance target, due to higher crude exports from its southern terminals. Once again, it seems, Iraq is a force to be reckoned with in the global oil markets.
If the south of the country is Iraq’s oil and gas powerhouse, then Basra is its engine. The region is home to 70% of the country’s natural gas and 60% of its crude oil reserves, including supergiant fields such as Rumaila, Majnoon, Zubair and West Qurna I and II. With its sea ports, Basra is also the main export gateway for the country’s oil and gas riches, making it of vital strategic importance and the focus of much-needed investment to unplug the midstream bottlenecks that could undermine future production growth.
The world’s biggest oil companies have already partnered with Iraqi firms to optimise the performance of Basra’s supergiant fields. It is now more than a decade since the Ministry of Oil signed agreements with Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Lukoil, Eni and other early entrants to rehabilitate and revamp the southern fields, which are key to the country hitting its longer-term production goal of 7.5 million bpd.
Meeting what currently looks like a stretch target will require significant investment in midstream infrastructure. The good news is that this work is already underway: earlier this year the Ministry of Oil announced plans to press ahead with the US$5 billion Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline project with capacity of 1 million bpd. The line will take oil from the Rumaila oilfields to the port of Aqaba on the Red Sea. Downstream work is underway to increase domestic refining capacity; despite its oil riches, the country is heavily dependent on refined product imports, partly due to damaged or neglected refining assets and partly due to a misalignment between the product yield of existing refineries and its domestic needs.
Those keen to learn more about the opportunities in Basra as it rebuilds for a brighter future would do well to attend the 6th Basra Megaprojects – Oil, Gas & Environment Conference, which will once again take place in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 - 23 October 2019. Held under the patronage of the Governorate of Basra, the Basra Council and Basra Oil Company, this is the place to meet key officials and industry leaders to discover new commercial opportunities, the latest policy developments and network with the movers and shakers of this oil and gas hotspot. The event is sponsored by: Chevron, Shell, Crescent Petroleum, ILF Consulting Engineers, GardaWorld, Al-Barham Group and ENKA, all of which will have senior representatives meeting with attendees throughout the two days.
Of course, when it comes to mega-projects, it is not just oil and gas infrastructure that needs investment. The region also faces a water crisis, with four million people in Basra province deemed ‘water insecure’ by humanitarian agencies (and 180 000 hospitalised in August 2018 as a result of contaminated water) as the vital Shatt al-Arab river has suffered from reduced flow, sea water intrusion, pollution and mismanagement. The Basra Megaprojects Conference will bring together professionals from around the world to share their knowledge and best working practices, discuss the changing face of environmental policy in Iraq and how private companies involved in mega-projects can contribute to a more sustainable future for Iraq. As part of this drive, the event will host the CWC Basra Environmental Awards to celebrate those who have implemented sustainable projects in the oil, gas, power and water sectors, with the winner announced during the Awards Dinner on Tuesday 22 October 2019.
For anyone with an interest in Iraq’s oil, gas and water mega-projects and the investment and regulatory framework needed to build a more prosperous, sustainable and secure future, the Basra Megaprojects Conference is the strategic gateway into the south of Iraq and not to be missed.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/business-news/05092019/iraqs-oil-and-gas-rehabilitation-continues/