International Oil Companies: BP

BP logo 2Name: BP

Based in: United Kingdom

BP, also referred to by its former name British Petroleum, is one of the world's six "supermajor" oil and gas companies. It has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index; it has secondary listings on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Fields in Iraq: Rumaila, Kirkuk

From the company's website:

BP has a long history of oil exploration and production in Iraq.  This history stretches right back to the 1920s when the company that would eventually come to be known as BP helped Iraq locate, produce and export oil from Baba Gurgur, Kirkuk.   This was the largest oilfield in the world at that time. This collaboration in Iraq continued up to the early 1970s, with the Zubair field being discovered in 1948 and the supergiant oilfield, Rumaila, in 1953.

In 2009, BP became the first International Oil Company to come back to Iraq after a period of 35 years.  Between 2003 and 2006, BP had conducted a technical evaluation of the Rumaila field with the Ministry of Oil and in 2009 BP and PetroChina were awarded a Technical Service Contract to transform production at Rumaila with the South Oil Company (SOC). BP, PetroChina and SOC are working in partnership to develop the second largest field in the world.

BP is now also working with the North Oil Company (NOC) on the redevelopment of the Kirkuk field having signed an agreement in September 2013 to provide technical assistance. Rumaila is estimated to have around 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil remaining, while Kirkuk has around 9 billion.

BP's philosophy in Rumaila and, most recently in Kirkuk, is based on a belief that all our partners have something positive to contribute. We are privileged to be working with the Iraqi people: they bring a significant depth of knowledge and an extraordinary determination to succeed. BP is bringing world class technology, processes and systems, helping to lay the foundations for long-term success in Iraq.

With the majority of the world's giant oilfields in decline, the importance of Rumaila and Kirkuk to the future of oil production both inside and outside Iraq is clear.  


As announced in August 2021, bp and PetroChina have agreed to establish Basra Energy Company, an incorporated joint venture, intended to own and manage the companies' interests in the Rumaila field in Iraq. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the transaction is expected to complete during the second quarter of 2022. Assets of $1,162 million and associated liabilities of $366 million are classified as held for sale in the group balance sheet at 31 March 2022.

For latest news on this company's activities in Iraq please click here.

A full list of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Iraq under licences granted by the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad can be found here.