Yesterday we reported that Michael Townshend, President of BP Iraq, was planning to increase production at the supergiant Rumaila oilfield by 10% over the next six months; today we can give you details of more than 100 new wells to be drilled at the field by the end of next year.
Three international service companies, including Weatherford International, have already been awarded contracts worth nearly $500 million to drill 49 new wells in Rumaila this year.
Reuters quotes a company official as saying that they will award contracts for a further 40 to 50 wells for this year, and a similar number next year.
According to Dow Jones, Rumaila, which is Iraq's oldest oil field, went onstream in 1953 and has around 800 existing wells, some 500 to 600 of which are not producing and need a workover.
Rumaila, with 17 billion barrels in estimated crude reserves, is the workhorse of Iraq's oil industry, producing almost half its total output of 2.5 million bpd. The field's reserves alone are bigger than those of the whole of Algeria.
BP holds a 38% stake in the Rumaila venture, while CNPC has 37% and Iraq’s state-run South Oil Co. the remaining 25%. The three contractors will receive a fixed fee of $2 for each additional barrel of oil produced from Rumaila.
The consortium has also awarded a contract to a local Iraqi company to build a small man camp. There are 30 to 50 expatriates already working at the Rumaila field and over 3,000 Iraqis.
(Sources: Reuters, Dow Jones, Upstreamonline.com)