Lukoil to start Iraqi oilfield production in 2014, double output

oil iraq-SMelindo flickrWest Qurna-2 is world’s second-largest undeveloped field with recoverable oil reserves of around 14bn barrels. (Image source: S Melindo/Flickr)Lukoil has announced that it will launch production at the West Qurna-2 field in Iraq in 2014, in order to double its oil output

Iraq is said to expect a robust return to growth next year as foreign companies in its giant southern oilfields are pushing output towards the highest level, Reuters said.

Lukoil plans to start West Qurna-2, reportedly world’s second-largest undeveloped field with recoverable oil reserves of around 14bn barrels, by end of March.

The company also aims to reach production of 120,000 bpd in Q1 2014, with output of 1.2mn bpd at its peak.

However, plans have yet to be finalised with the federal government of Iraq, it said.

“We definitely will start commercial production at the oilfield by the end of Q1,” Andrey Gaidamaka, Lukoil’s vice-president, said, adding that in March-April they will have commercial production at the West Qurna-2 field on stream.

Lukoil had regained the right to develop West Qurna-2 in 2009 after its initial concession was cancelled following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

As a private sector company, Lukoil has been banned from securing new offshore fields in Russian waters by recent laws, which reserve such prospects for state-controlled enterprises.

This has left the company with no options but to develop resources that are hard to recover - namely tight oil — which recently received tax breaks to encourage investment, acquire smaller Russian firms or grow abroad, Lukoil added.

“Our international production is set to more than double next year with the introduction of West Qurna-2 oilfield,” Gaidamaka added.

 

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