By John Lee.
In its financial results for the six months ended 30th June 2020, Petrel Resources made the following statement on its interests in Iraq:
"Petrel is active once more in Iraq after a hiatus since 2010 due to political and financial instability. We negotiated a large exploration block, Block 6, in the Western Desert in 2005. Nothing has happened there in the recent past. In discussions in early 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic, with Ministry officials we renewed our Block 6 interest and re-presented the technical slides done by the Company on the Merjan-Kefl-West Kifl oil discoveries which remain undeveloped. We did extensive work under a Technical Co-operation Agreement on possible ways to develop these discoveries.
"With appropriate terms and pipeline access, the Merjan oil-field seems poised for early development: it was discovered, as an oil reservoir, by Mobil in 1982, but work did not proceed, mainly for political reasons. Petrel's work on Merjan did not suggest that the area was gas-prone. The discovery well - Me-1- was located using 2D seismic on a Jurassic reef. No reef or oil was found in the Jurassic, but the well discovered oil in the Upper Cretaceous Hartha Formation. Recent analysis of 3D data focusses on the Jurassic seismic feature, and does not discuss the nature of any hydrocarbons in the well or the area. The Hartha reservoir in the well tested oil and water, without a significant flow of gas.
"Given the scope to reduce emissions through gas development, we should also bear Iraq's gas potential in mind: a staggering 16 billion cm (0.6 tcf) of gas are flared yearly (including valuable liquids), which is about half Iraq's gas output. We proposed gas and condensate recovery on Subba & Luhais, at various times, from 2004 through 2010, but the necessary legal framework was not then in place. With appropriate terms and infrastructure, gas economics are also attractive.
"As lowest cost oil producer Iraq is well poised to benefit from the development of the oil market. Their output can easily double in size."
(Source: Petrel Resources)