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E & P News

2017

Jul 2017: TAQA (operator, 39.9%) has started oil production at the Atrush Block in Kurdistan through the Atrush Central Processing Facility on which has the capacity to handle up to 30,000 bbls of oil per day. Partners are the Kurdistan Regional Government (25%), ShaMaran (20.1%) and Marathon (15%). The field is located 85 kms northwest of Erbil and was discovered in 2011.

Apr 2017: Petrochina has launched the third and final phase of work to expand its Halfaya field, aiming to double output capacity to 400,000 bbls of oil per day with facilities to separate the oil from associated gas.

Mar 2017: Genel Energy has once again down graded reserves at the Taq Taq field after a review of fracture porosity and high rates of decline as a result of water breakthrough. Remaining reserves (2P) are now put at 59 mmbbls, compared to 172 mmbbls in 2015. Cumulative oil production to Feb 2017 was 207.9 mmbbls.  

Feb 2017: Lukoil and Inpex have hit oil at the Eridu 1 exploration well in southern Block 10. Oil flowed from the Mishrif horizon. The work program for 2017 includes the drilling an appraisal well, Eridu 2.

Feb 2017: Oil reserves have increased to 153 bn bbls (from 143 bn bbls) as aresult of appraisal and exploration at 7 fields in central and southern Iraq. Globalshift notes: reserves cited by OPEC members (and other countries) may be based not only on technical analysis, but also on data manipulation - in OPEC’s case allied to the wish to increase allowable production quotas.

Jan 2017: Oryx reports that the Zey Gawra-1 well in the Hawler Licence has been side-tracked. It is flowing 1,500 bbls per day in an extended production test which is taken by tanker to the Hawler terminal, blended with Demir Dagh oil and exported through the Kurdistan Export Pipeline.

Jan 2017: Gas production from the south reached 7 bcm per year and is expected to be 10 bcm per year by the end of 2017 with South Gas Company pumping gas through a new pipeline. Meanwhile Iraq has begun to reduce oil production in line with OPEC’s decision but exports from southern Iraq have reached record levels.

2016

Nov 2016: The oil ministry is postponing a bidding round for 12 oil fields across three provinces to the middle of 2017. The ministry announced the tender in October, pre-qualifying 19 bidders.

Aug 2016: A new gas processing plant for oil fields in the southeastern region, Misan Province, has come onstream using previously flared gas to generate electricity. The plant will process gas associated with oil at the Fakka and Bazargan fields. Iraq flares 70% of its gas output.

Mar 2016: Genel Energy (operator, 44%) cut its reserves estimate for the Taq Taq field to 356 mmbbls from 683 mmbbls. Production is expected to fall from 80,000 bbls per day in 2016 to 50,000 in 2018. Addax holds 36% and the KRG the remaining 20%. Taq Taq is 60 kms northeast of Kirkuk.

2015

Dec 2015: Cumulative production from the West Qurna-2 field has exceeded 30 mm tonnes (>200 mm bbls) of oil since its launch in March 2014. Lukoil is operator (75%) along with the state owned South Oil Company and North Oil Company (25%).

Nov 2015: HKN received approval for its Sarsang Development Plan (Swara Tika field) which will increase production to 50,000 bbls of oil per day. The Swara Tika-1 well began producing in mid-2014. Additionally, the East Swara Tika-1 well has been declared a discovery. HKN is operator with 42%, partnered with Marathon (20%), Maersk (18%) and KRG (20%).

Sep 2015: Gulf Keystone, operator of the Shaikan field in Kurdistan, announced total production at over 15 mm bbls with current production 40,000 bbls per day. Oil is currently trucked to Fyshkhabour on the Turkish border for injection into the export pipeline to Ceyhan. A phased increase to 100,000 bbls per day through an export pipeline is part of the Development Plan.

Jun 2015: Gazprom has almost doubled oil production at the Badra field in Wasit Province. It is now producing around 27,000 bbls per day. Commercial production commenced in 2014.

May 2015: DNO announced doubling of capacity at the Tawke field in Kurdistan to 200,000 bbls of oil per day with 10 horizontal wells, 2 early production facilities and a  new 44 km, 24-inch pipeline. Output from Tawke during the first quarter averaged 104,925 bbls per day, increasing to over 140,000 bbls per day so far in the second quarter.

Mar 2015: Gulf Keystone has resumed production at its production facilities (PF-1 and -2) at the Shaikan field in Kurdistan and will ramp up output to the installed capacity of 40,000 bbls per day. Development wells Shaikan-10 and -11 have been completed.

2014

Dec 2014: Marathon  announced that the Jisik-1 well has discovered multiple  oil and gas zones on the Harir Block in the Kurdistan region NE of Erbil. Jisik-1 well will be suspended for use as a producing well. Partners are Marathon Oil (operator, 45%), Total (35%) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20% carried).

Nov 2014: Genel Energy has reached an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the development of the Miran and Bina Bawi gas fields. The fields are to be combined under one PSC and Genel will have 100%. First oil and domestic gas production (if required) will commence in 2016 with gas production for export in 2018 .

Oct 2014: GPK (Gas Plus Khalakan) has declared the Shewashan light oil discovery commercial and is preparing the Field Development Plan (FDP). The well will be put on production to gather data ahead of FDP approval. Shewashan is the 2nd prospect drilled on the Khalakan Block between the TaqTaq and Miran fields.

Sep 2014: Kuwait Energy (operator, 70%) and Dragon Oil (30%) have announced that they have made an oil discovery at Block 9  in northern Basra. Faihaa-1 was the first well drilled in the block and tested 20 API oil.

Sep 2014: Iraq signed revised contracts  for 2 southern oilfields. Rumaila, operated by BP, had its plateau level cut to 2.1 mm bbls per day (in a decade) from 2.85. Halfaya, operated by CNPC had its plateau level cut to 400,000 bbls per day from 535,000. Rumaila currently produces  1.3 mm bbls per day whilst Halfaya currently produces 200,000 bbls per day (Globalshift notes: these still appear to be ambitious targets).

Aug 2014: Talisman, which is looking to sell its interest, has submitted a Declaration of Commercial Discovery to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the Kurdamir field. The first horizontal development well is planned for Q4 2014. Talisman is operator with 40% along with Western Zagros (40%) and the KRG (20%).

Aug 2014: Islamic State has captured 7 oil fields (Ain Zalah and Batma fields in August to add to the Najma, Qayara, Himreen, Ajeel and Balad fields) with a total capacity of 80,000 bbls per day (but producing less than 30,000). Total remaining output from Iraq and Kurdistan has dropped to 3.1 mm bbls per day in July (down 120,000 bbls per day from June).

Jul 2014: Gazprom has started commercial oil production from its Badra oilfield at an average of 15,000 bbls per day. It is planned to reach 170,000 bbls per day by 2017. Badra is located in the Wasit Province in eastern Iraq with an estimated 3 bn bbls of oil reserves.

Jun 2014: Oryx (65%) has commissioned the first phase of production facilities at the Demir Dagh field in the Hawler licence in Kurdistan. Production capacity is anticipated to reach 25,000 bbls per day by Q4 2014 and 40,000 bbls per day in 2015. The pipeline connecting to the Khurmala-Faysh Khabur export pipeline will be completed in the second half of 2014.

Jun 2014: Lukoil has fulfilled its contractual obligations for first commercial production at West Qurna-2 by maintaining an average daily production of at least 120,000 bbls a day for 90 days, entitling it to begin recovering costs and receive remuneration. Daily oil production at West Qurna-2 is currently above 200,000 bbls.

Jun 2014: DNO announced that production from the Tawke field reached 120,021 bbls per day in May with 40% sent via the export pipeline at Fish Khabur. Plans to increase Tawke deliverability to 200,000 bbls per day by year-end continue. In addition sales of gas from the Summail field to the Dohuk power plant commenced in late May and sales will climb as 2 further wells are put on production.

Apr 2014: Shell announced that the Majnoon field in the south has exported its first oil after extensive rehabilitation. Production has reached an average of 210,000 bbls per day, ahead of target. A total of 18 new wells have been drilled by Shell (operator) along with South Oil Company, Petronas and Missan Oil.

Mar 2014: Lukoil has  launched commercial production from the West Qurna-2 oilfield. Production is planned to rise to 400,000 bbls per day by year-end from an initial rate of 120,000 bbls per day. Total output from Iraq averaged 3.5 million bbls per day in February. Lukoil is operator with 75% along with North Oil Company (25%).

Mar 2014: MOL has  started the EWT from the Bijell field on its Akri Bijeel Block. Production through the Bijell-1B well is around 3,500 bbls per day. Further wells will be drilled and tied-in to the EWT by year end which is  capable of handling up to 10,000 bbls per day. Four drilling rigs are employed at Akri Bijeel.

Feb 2014: Gazprom Neft plans to start commercial oil production at its Badra field and hopes for an average output of 15,000 bbls per day by the end of 2014, rising to 170,000 bbls per day in subsequent years. The field is located in the Wasit Province in eastern Iraq.

2013

Dec 2013: Oryx has announced an oil discovery at Zey Gawra, the 3rd consecutive one in the Hawler licence area. Zey Gawra lies on the Kirkuk field trend; the last closure to the NW of the Khurmala Dome. Oryx intends to drill an appraisal well in 2014 as part of a multi-well program in the license area and the field could be tied into a planned development at Demir Dagh.

Nov 2013: Gazprom Neft has postponed start-up from Badra in Wasit Province in the east until 2014. It said in April that 170,000 bbls per day of oil could be produced by 2017 for 7 years from 17 production wells and 5 injection wells. Reserves are 3 bn bbls held by Gazprom Neft (operator, 30%), Kogas (22.5%), Petronas (15%), TPAO (7.5%) and Iraqi Oil Exploration Company (25%).

Oct 2013: Marathon announced that the Mirawa-1 well has discovered stacked oil and natural gas producing zones in the Harir Block in the Kurdistan region northeast of Erbil.  The well will be suspended use as a producing well and the rig moved to  the Jisik-1 prospect. Marathon is operator with 45% along with Total (35%) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20%).

Oct 2013: Oryx (operator, 65%) has announced the discovery of oil at Ain Al Safra northwest of Erbil in Kurdistan, the second in the Hawler license area. The AAS-1 well reached a depth of 3,039m in the upper Triassic and oil flowed in a test from lower Jurassic reservoirs. Oryx intends to drill an appraisal in 2014.

Oct 2013: A new well the Tawke oil field is producing more than ever. The horizontal Tawke 23 well produced 32,500 bbls of oil per day, beating the 25,000 bbls recently produced at Tawke 20. The field is operated by DNO with 55% along with Genel Energy (25%) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20%).

Oct 2013: Gulf Keystone has said that commercial production from its Shaikan field in the Kurdistan Region has recommenced. The Company plans to ramp-up production from the first Shaikan production facility (PF-1) to 20,000 bbls of oil per day while completing the the second production facility (PF-2), which will add a further 20,000 bbls per day.

Oct 2013: Taqa has approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to develop the Atrush field. The 1st phase of Atrush is expected to produce 30,000 bbls of oil per day from 2015. A second phase may add 30,000 bbls per day with some associated gas. Taqa holds 39.9%, ShaMaran Petroleum (20.1%), Marathon (15%) and the KRG (25%). Abu Dhabi owns 72.5% of Taqa.

Sep 2013: The Majnoon field, operated by Shell, will start up production in October at a rate of 175,000 bbls per day. Majnoon is one of 4 giant southern fields vital for increasing Iraq’s oil output, the others being Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna. Majnoon was producing about 45,000 bbls per day when the company took over in 2010.

Sep 2013: Japex (30%), Petronas (45%) and North Oil (25%), announced first oil from the Garraf field in Thi Qar Province, 85 kms north of Nasiriyah. The field was acquired in 2009 under Iraq's Second Licensing Round. So far 11 wells have been drilled and facilities constructed for initial output. Plateau production of 230,000 bbls per day is planned by 2018 (GS notes: is optimistic).

Sep 2013: Iraq has awarded US$348 mm worth of drilling contracts to 3 service companies to drill 39 production wells in the Maysan oil field complex. Iraq signed a deal with CNOOC and TPAO in 2010 to develop Maysan, aiming to reach a production target of 450,000 bbls per day by 2016 (GS notes: this is now unlikely to be achieved).

Aug 2013: Genel Energy has had a Declaration of Commerciality for the Miran field, discovered in 2009, approved by the Kurdistan Regional Government. Genel holds a 100% interest in the Miran licence. An Early Production Facility for Miran oil was commissioned in August 2013 at 2,000 bbls per day. A gas commercialisation plan involving export to Turkey is required.

Jul 2013: Daewoo has won a US$709 mm service contract to develop Iraq's largest gas field, Akkaz, in Anbar, near the Syrian border. It has reported reserves of 158 bcm. Iraq signed a contract in 2011 to develop the field with KOGAS, targeting around 4 bcm per year over 13 years.

Jul 2013: DNO announced that it has initiated production from the first horizontal well in the Tawke field in the Kurdistan region at a record rate of 25,000 bbls of oil a day subject to wellbore and surface facilities limitations. Currently, the most productive vertical well in the field is flowing at a daily rate of 10,000 bbls. Horizontal drilling is planned at two more locations this year. DNO holds 55% and operates the Tawke license with Genel Energy (25%) and the Kurdistan Government (20%).

Jul 2013: Eni has signed with South Oil Company and the Iraqi Ministry of Oil an Amendment to the Technical Service Contract awarded in 2010 for the development of the Zubair oil field. This sets a new target of 850,000 bbls of oil per day.  

Jun 2013: Gulf Keystone has announced that the Field Development Plan for the Shaikan field has been approved. Initial production capacity will steadily increase to 20,000 bbls oil per day and then to 40,000 on completion of a second production facility. This is planned to increase to 150,000 bopd within 3 years and 250,000 by 2018.

May 2013: Shell will start production at the Majnoon oil field in  mid-year and increase to 175,000 bbls per day by the end of 2013. Shell has been facing problems at Majnoon, mainly due to the unexpected quantities of unexploded munitions and customs-related delays. Shell is operator with 45% along with Petronas (30%) and the government (25%). The field, straddling the southern provinces of Basra and Maysan, contains estimated reserves of 12 bn bbls of oil plus gas.

May 2013: South Gas Company (51%), Shell (44%) and Mitsubishi (5%) have commenced the operations of Basrah Gas Company to capture associated gas that is being flared from 3 oil fields in southern Iraq; Rumaila, West Qurna 1 and Zubair. Basrah currently produces around 10 bcm of associated gas of which 70% is flared. Production capacity is planned to eventually increase to 20 bcm with much reduced flaring. The project also includes the option to build an LNG plant for potential export.

Apr 2013: Genel Energy has announced that the Chia Surkh-10 well in the Chia Surkh licence in Kurdistan flowed at up to 11,950 bbls of oil per day. Plans are underway for an early production scheme to come onstream in 2014. Chia Surkh-10 is the first exploration well to be drilled on the acreage, operated by Genel Energy (60%), with Petoil (20%) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20%), since 1954.

Mar 2013: ExxonMobil is planning to increase oil production from West Qurna-1 to 530,000 bbls per day and to 600,000 bbls per day by the end of 2013. Iraq is targeting a total output of 4.5 mm bbls per day in 2014 up from 3.3 mm bbls per day. New production from fields in 2013 include Majnoon, developed by Shell, West Qurna-2 (Lukoil) and Gharraf (a consortium led by Petronas and Japex).

Jan 2013: The Gharraf field will now begin producing in the middle of 2013, delayed from the original start date at the end of 2012 due to equipment import holdups. Japex and Petronas Carigali won the development and production contract from state-owned South Oil Company in 2009 with shares split 45% for Petronas, 30% for Japex and 25% for SOC. Initial production of 60,000 bbls per day is planned, rising to 230,000 bbls per day by 2018.

2012

Dec 2012: BP is agreeing a deal to cut the final production target for the Rumaila oilfield to 1.8 mm  bbls per day and extending this final plateau until 2029 after it is first reached in 2017, lowering the target  from 2.85 mm, which they agreed to in 2009. A final deal is expected by year-end. Rumaila, which BP operates with China's CNPC, has estimated reserves of 17 bn bbls and currently produces around 1.35 mm; more than a third of Iraq's total output of 3.4 mm bbls per day.

Oct 2012: Iraq has invited international companies to bid to develop the giant Nassiriya oil field in the south. The project involves integrated development of the 4.4 bn barrel oil field in Thi-Qar province together with construction and operation of a new 300,000 bbls per day refinery nearby. Iraq's 3 main refineries (Dura, Baiji, and Basra) are producing at 70% of capacity, equivalent to around 560,000 bbls per day. The country hopes to soon increase capacity to at least 750,000 bbls per day.

Sep 2012: Three oil and gas contracts have been awarded following the 4th licensing round in May. The government approved a gas exploration contract with Pakistan Petroleum for Block 8, a deal with a group led by Lukoil to develop Block 10 and with Russia's Bashneft to develop Block 12. It has delayed approval of a contract signed with a consortium led by Kuwait Energy for Block 9. The auction had a poor international response because of tough contract terms.

Sep 2012: Shell and Petronas report the Majnoon field, awarded in Dec 2009, will meet a target of 175,000 bbls a day (the level required for cost recovery) by the end of 2012 despite mine clearance, delays in customs and poor weather. Majnoon's existing pipelines will be  upgraded. Majnoon is believed to hold 12.6 bn bbls of oil and is one of 4 huge fields that Iraq is developing with foreign companies. They plan to eventually raise production to 1.8 mm bbls a day.

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