ExxonMobil (XOM.N) and its partner Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) have not been affected by a delay in the formation of Iraq's new government, and work on their West Qurna Phase One project is moving ahead, an Exxon executive said on Monday.
Exxon expects to tender later this year to drill new wells in the supergiant field and will award contracts for well services within four weeks, which could include some work-over, said ExxonMobil Iraq Vice President James Adams, according to a report from Reuters.
"Right now things seem to be going ahead fairly well," Adams told Reuters on the sidelines a conference in Baghdad between oil company executives and the Iraqi Oil Ministry.
Iraq held a general election in March that produced no outright winner and as yet no new government.
"No, it's not affecting us," Adams said.
The Exxon-Shell contract to develop the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One project was one of series Iraq has signed with international oil companies (IOCs) to develop its reserves.
Adams said Exxon was taking the lead among the international oil companies in coordinating initial studies into a water injection scheme that could help raise extraction rates at West Qurna Phase One, Majnoon, Zubair, Rumaila, Gharaf, and Halfaya oilfields.
"We are taking the lead in terms of coordinating and undertaking the initial studies, because you don't want each field or each IOC to be doing their own design," he said.
He said the aim would be to produce 10-15 million bpd of water and while the project was in the very early stages of concept evaluation, it would definitely use seawater.
He said it would cost billions of dollars and that such projects typically took at least three years to complete.
"The timeline right now is undetermined but the timeline will be very fast," he said.