Kurdistan Ready to Re-Start Oil Exports

Iraq's Kurdistan region is ready to start exporting oil at a rate of 100,000 barrels per day as soon as a new Iraq government is formed, its Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said today.

"We can begin exporting 100,000 barrels per day tomorrow - as soon as we have a government," Reuters quoted Hawrami as telling reporters at an industry conference.

"And we can get to 200,000 to 250,000 by end year," he added.

Hawrami was asked if he still expected output to reach one million bpd within three years. "I am comfortable with that," he replied.

The minister said there were 8 to10 rigs drilling in Iraqi Kurdistan and 7 new discoveries had been made, "three on a giant scale."

Proven reserves were in the region of 20 billion barrels to 25 billion barrels in place and could get to a 40 billion peak, Hawrami said

He was asked to assess the recovery factor for the crude.

"Conservatively 40% is a reasonable number to use and if you go into enhanced recovery plans more than 40% percent is possible," Hawrami replied.

He said a new export pipeline to link with the terminal at Ceyhan, Turkey, was also planned with a capacity of one million bpd.

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