KRI pipeline infrastructure
During 2013, the KRG completed the construction of its export pipeline infrastructure, giving it a route to export its oil production to world markets. The first section, a 20-inch diameter pipeline from the Taq Taq field to Khurmala, became operational in the first half of 2013. This section has initial capacity of 150,000 bopd, with the potential to increase to 200,000 bopd. The second section, from Khurmala to Dohuk, involved the conversion of a 36-inch pipeline which originally was intended to be a gas pipeline. The final section, from Dohuk to the KRI border with Turkey, was completed in the third quarter of 2013. This was tied into the existing 40-inch section of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline through a new metering station within KRI territory. Commissioning work has been progressing since the fourth quarter of 2013. This process has identified the need for an upgrade to pumping stations in KRI territory. These works are expected to be completed in time to allow for full commissioning of the pipeline infrastructure during the second half of 2014.
In January 2014, the KRG announced that initial quantities of crude oil from the Tawke field had flowed through the pipeline system and arrived into storage at the port of Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
Tawke (25% working interest)
The Tawke field produced an average of 39,000 bopd in 2013, compared to 45,000 bopd in 2012. Production was reduced year on year as export markets remained closed and domestic market demand decreased due to pricing sensitivity.
During the year, the first two horizontal development wells were drilled on the field with outstanding results. In July, it was announced that the Tawke-20 well flowed at an average of 8,000 bopd from each of the ten fracture corridors intersected by the well. It was subsequently brought onstream at a record rate for the field of 25,000 bopd. The second horizontal well in the programme, Tawke-23, flowed at an average rate of 9,000 bopd from ten separate fracture corridors intersected by the well. It was subsequently brought onstream at 32,500 bopd, another record. Drilling operations on the third and fourth wells in the programme, Tawke-21 and Tawke-22, are progressing with results expected towards the end of the first quarter.
At end 2013, the Tawke field had wellhead production capacity of 155,000 bopd. Current processing capacity stands at 100,000 bopd, with this level being successfully tested over a 72-hour period in May 2013. Surface processing capacity is planned to increase to 200,000 bopd by year end 2014 through the utilisation of early production facilities. Success in the 2014 horizontal drilling programme could lead to further increases in processing capacity going forward. To facilitate the higher volumes, a new 24-inch pipeline is planned from the field to the Tawke partners’ Fishkabur export facility. The Tawke partners also plan further drilling on the Peshkabir discovery during 2014, which will appraise the discovered resource and test upside potential.
In June 2013, it was announced that the Tawke-17 (Tawke Deep) well tested 1,500 bopd of 26-28 degree API crude from an Upper Jurassic reservoir underlying the main producing Cretaceous horizons in the field. Further data acquisition and analysis of the Tawke Jurassic discovery is planned in 2014 ahead of spudding the Tawke-29 Jurassic appraisal well in the third quarter.