BP is said to be close to reaching a deal with Iraq to cut the final production target for the Rumaila oilfield to between 1.8 million and 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
According to Reuters, officials from BP, the state-run South Oil Company (SOC), and the Ministry of Oil, have been in talks for the past four months studying BP proposals to lower the target from the 2.85 million bpd agreed in 2009.
A senior SOC official involved in the discussions said:
"BP has submitted three figures to lower Rumaila production. Iraq has initially accepted to cut output, and a final deal is expected by year-end.
"BP's offer included cutting Rumaila production to 1.8 million barrels per day and extending this final plateau until 2029."
The negotiations are the latest sign of trouble in Iraq's southern oilfields, where logistical bottlenecks and weak infrastructure have eroded investor interest at the same time that the autonomous Kurdistan region in the north attracts oil majors.
"We have to re-negotiate the final production target not only with BP or Shell, but with other companies also," an oil ministry official said. "We don't have suitable infrastructure to deal with future mega production."
(Photo: De-Gassing Station at Rumaila)