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The latest Petronas Business News – Majnoon Iraq Oilfield, contract, Shell Oil, Malaysia, crude oil and more – brought to you by Iraq Business

Heritage Oil – Preditor or Prey?


Rumours continue to fly regarding the fate of Heritage Oil (LSE: HOIL), the oil explorer with operations in Iraqi Kurdistan (pictured), which is said to be the target of takeover bid.

The British Daily Mail newspaper reported last week that Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company, Petronas, was interested in the company, but Petronas denied the report on Friday.

There were also mutterings that China’s CNOOC or Sinopec was considering making an approach worth around 600p-a-share, almost 50% premium to the market price.

Some reports suggested that they might have to compete with a bid from Korea’s KNOC.

Just a couple of weeks ago Heritage’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Atherton, told reporters that the company is itself considering a major acquisition. “Any transaction has to be significant, has to be material. We’re not looking at very small, marginal transactions“, he said.

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Halfaya to Produce Enough Gas to Supply Power Station


The development of Halfaya oilfield in southern Iraq’s Maysan province shall insure enough gas for Kahla’a power station, according to the Director-General of Missan Oil Company, who said that the gas produced from the oil field would exceed 60 million cubic feet.

“The development of the Halfaya field shall secure the needs of the Kahlaa Electric Power Station for the gas it needs to operate it,” Ali Mi’arij told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Kahlaa power station, opened earlier this year, has a capacity of 180 megawatts. Its total cost reached US$121 millions, although it has been working below capacity due to several problems, including lacking enough gas to operate it.

According to Missan Oil Company’s Director-General, the final phases to develop the said oil field is expected to reach 535,000 barrels per day, which equals five times Missan’s current production capacity.

The Director of Public Relations and Media in Missan Oil Company, Ali al-Tarfi, told Aswat al-Iraq that the oil reserve of Halfaya Oil Field exceeds 15 billion (b) barrels of oil, adding that the plan to develop it includes the drilling of 300 oil wells, along with the establishment of several gas-isolation stations, and gas storage and treatment facilities.

The field is operated by a consortium of CNPC, Total, and Petronas.

(Source: Aswat al-Iraq)

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Halliburton Signs $150m Contract for Iraq’s Majnoon Oilfield


Halliburton signed the one-year contract with Shell on Tuesday to develop the Majnoon oilfield, according to a media source from Shell.

Hanadi al-Salman told Aswat al-Iraq news agency that, “according to the new deal, Halliburton will set up operation centers to dig 15 new wells,” he added.

When the contract win was originally announced in August, its estimated value was $150m.

A consortium including Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Malaysia’s Petronas have the contract to redevelop Iraq’s Majnoon oil field, one of the largest oil fields in the world.

Although the companies’ fee for raising output is considered small, it represents an important foothold in a country that potentially has massive untapped oil resources, said ING analyst Jason Kenney.

The Majnoon field, located in southern Iraq, holds some 12.8 billion barrels of oil reserves. The Iraqi state will hold a 25% interest in the licence, Shell will hold a 45% share and Petronas 30%.

(Source: Aswat al-Iraq)

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Tenders for Rigs at Halfaya Oilfield


Bids are invited from oil service companies to supply two workover rigs for the 4.1 billion barrel Halfaya oilfield.

The tender from state-run Maysan Oil Company, along with the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), French oil major Total, and Malaysian state firm Petronas, closes on Nov. 28, and the offer must remain valid for 90 days after the bid closing date.

“First drilling is supposed to start in November 2010, and three more drilling rigs are to be mobilized in the near future,” the tender documents obtained by Reuters on Tuesday said.

“Therefore, two 750 HP workover rigs are required for well completion, well testing, acidizing and other workover operations in Halfaya oilfield,” it added.

The contract duration will be for one year and may be extended for another year.

(Source: Reuters)

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$60m Allocated to Training Iraqi Oil Workers


Iraq’s Oil Ministry announced on Sunday that it has allocated $60m [72 billion Iraqi dinars] from the international licensing contracts sold this year to the development of technical skills amongst Iraqi employees working in the oil sector.

At a press conference in Basra, the training director of the ministry’s technical institute, Ali Rahim Fayyad, told AKnews that 50% of the budget will be used for training personnel working in the field, 25% will contribute to scholarships and internships abroad, and the remaining 25% will be spent improving infrastructure and training facilities.

Oil ministry spokesperson, Nihad Ahmed, said that the ministry will improve infrastructure, and establishing a new petroleum college and a school for drilling along with other specialized training centres.

The Director of Development in the Malaysian oil company Petronas, Mohammed Hashim, told AKnews that his company will work alongside the ministry to develop local engineers to international standards.

The first stage in the plan involves training those responsible for delivering the training program, then sending them abroad to gain experience on oil fields operating around the world.

The training is scheduled to begin early next year.

Iraq Business News carries news of employment opportunities in Iraq, much of it in the oil and gas sector.

(Source: AKnews)

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Total CEO Cautious on Halfaya Ramp-Up


Total’s Chief Executive, Christophe de Margerie, said on Wednesday that he expected the company’s output in Iraq to grow slowly.

We are still in an insecure environment,” he said, according to a report from Reuters. “Don’t tell me security is there, don’t tell me that after the departure of certain soldiers that will create more security… The logistics don’t exist,” he said.

Total, together with partners CNPC and Petronas, signed the final contract earlier this year to develop the Halfaya field, which has estimated reserves of 4.1 billion barrels of oil.

(Source: Reuters)

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Petronas to Train Iraqi Engineers for Gharraf Oilfield


Petronas, the Malaysian state oil firm, has agreed to train 60 Iraqi oil engineers to help it develop the Gharaf oilfield.

The engineers will attend an intensive 6-month course in Malaysia and will then be sent back home to supervise the company’s operations, according to a report from Azzaman.

Petronas and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) won the 20-year service contract to develop the 900-million barrel field. They have agreed to invest about $7 billion.

Petronas has a 60 percent stake in the venture, and Japex the rest.

Petronas and Japex will get $1.49 per barrel from Gharaf the development of which could churn out 230,000 barrels a day.

Iraq’s oil ministry announced on Friday that it would begin drilling for oil in the Gharraf oil fields by the end of the year.

(Source: Azzaman)

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Gharraf Drilling to Start by December


Iraq’s oil ministry announced on Friday that it would begin drilling for oil in the southern Gharraf oil fields by the end of the year.

Officials said initial production levels of 50,000 barrels per day from eight oil wells are expected.

Malaysia’s state-owned oil company Petronas and the Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (Japex) signed a deal with the Iraqi government late last year to develop the Gharraf oil fields.

The deal envisages 20 oil wells with an estimated daily output of 230,000 barrels over 20 years.

Iraq’s state oil company holds a minority share in the partnership.

Petronas has also just announced that it will train 60 Iraqi engineers in Malaysia to work on the Gharraf project.

(Sources: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Rigzone, Azzaman)

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