Oil companies Chevron Corporation and Total confirmed they are in discussions with the Iraqi Oil Ministry to increase production in an important oil field in southern Iraq.
The discussions are aimed at finalising a two-year deal, or technical support agreement, to boost production at the West Qurna Stage 1 oil field near Iraq’s second-largest city of Basra.
Chevron and Total confirmed their involvement in the discussions in e-mails received yesterday by an international news agency.
“Chevron is interested in helping the Iraq Government’s objectives to develop its oil and gas industry,” Chevron spokesman Kurt Glaubitz said in an e-mail. Total spokeswoman Lisa Wyler confirmed the French company’s involvement.
West Qurna field, located about 65km west of Basra, is among Iraq’s 10 “super giant” fields with its reserves estimated between 15 billion to 21 billion barrels, according to Iraqi Oil Ministry and Energy Information Administration.
The ministry intends to add 100,000 barrels per day to the field’s current capacity of 180,000 barrels per day.Its estimated pre-2003 production capacity stood at 250,000 barrels per day, the ministry’s figures show.
In 1997, the Russian Lukoil oil giant struck a $3.7 billion (Dh13.5bn) deal with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to drill at the West Qurna field.
However, Saddam cancelled the contract in 2002. The Russians hoped they would be able to revive it when Moscow wrote off most of Iraq’s $12.9bn debt.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry has said it is also negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ExxonMobil Corporation to increase crude production in four other fields.
Iraq has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, totalling more than 115 billion barrels. Iraq’s average production for February was 2.4 million barrels per day. (AP)
Chevron and Total aim to boost Iraq’s oil production