PetroChina to develop West Qurna oilfield in Iraq

oilwell qurna-mono bustos sxc.huChina’s PetroChina has announced that it will develop Iraq’s West Qurna oilfield with ExxonMobil and that it is in talks with Lukoil to buy another project in the field

According to PetroChina, a deal at West Qurna, which is around 50km northwest of Basra, could make the Chinese energy firm the biggest single foreign investor in Iraqi oil.

West Qurna has reserves to pump more than five million bpd, it added.

An unnamed official source said, “PetroChina will participate in developing the field.”

PetroChina is already partners BP at Rumaila oilfield, reportedly Iraq’s largest producer, and operates the Halfaya and al-Ahdab fields.

ExxonMobil, which holds a 60 per cent stake in West Qurna-1, has made steady progress with partner Royal Dutch Shell and the field — a US$50bn investment project — is pumping around 480,000 bpd.

PetroChina is also in talks with Lukoil for purchasing stake in another development project at the field — West Qurna-2, a company source said. The source, however, declined to reveal the size of the stake under discussion.

Vagit Alekperov, chief executive of Lukoil, said that the company wanted a Chinese firm to replace Norway’s Statoil at the project.

West Qurna-2 is expected to start up this year with a production output of 500,000 bpd in 2014 and needed total investment of US$30bn.


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