27 April 2010 – Upstreamonline.com
Iraq’s state-run South Oil Company (SOC) has invited interest from contractors for services to enhance its southern oil export facilities, as part of the plan to boost its crude output.
Companies have until 5 May to prequalify to compete for the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing export facilities and pipelines in the southern oil hub city of Basra, Reuters quoted SOC as saying.
Iraq has a clutch of deals with major international producers that could boost its output capacity from 2.5 million barrels per day now to 12 million bpd in six to seven years’ time.
The war-damaged country has plans to expand its oil exporting facilities to handle the expected rise in output following deals to develop Iraqi oilfields.The crude oil export facility project – funded by a Japanese government loan – includes the installation of two new onshore and offshore pipelines plus one floating oil terminal.
“This is part of an extensive plan to raise the export capacity from Basra ports to more than 4 million bpd in four years, up from 1.8 million bpd now,” an official at SOC told the news agency.
Iraq aims to install four new floating oil terminals and three new undersea oil pipelines that will boost export capacity to 8 million bpd from 1.9 million bpd now, the head of SOC told Reuters in November.
Iraqi oil exports reached 1.79 million bpd in March, including exports from its northern fields, which flow through a pipeline from Kirkuk in the north to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
The bulk of Iraq’s oil reserves, the world’s third largest, are in the south, and are currently pumped through two offshore terminals.
The existing pipelines carry oil from southern oilfields to the Khor al-Amaya and al-Basra oil terminals, but equipment is old and decrepit after years of war and economic sanctions.
The current flow rate is usually below capacity and the existing pipes cannot handle the pressure of a faster pumping rate.