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September 02, 2009

Iraq's Rumaila Oil Field Could Double Iraq Oil Production and a Big Oil Find in the Gulf of Mexico

Business Week reports on the BP (British Petroleum) project to modernize the Rumaila oil field to nearly double its production and restore Iraq's power in OPEC.

A lot of the underproduction of "easy oil reserves" is in Iraq and Nigeria. Brazil, Russia, China, United States, Kazakhstan and Canada have key oil megaprojects that are non-OPEC over the next 5 years. Saudi Arabia continues to develop large fields, but OPEC production is held back as part the control of oil prices. New Oil production technology (like THAI/Capri and electrothermal stimulation) are key to unlocking vast oilsand reserves and further improvement of multistage wells are needed for the economic development of Bakken oilfields.

Rumaila, is a monster, producing 960,000 barrels per day now—nearly half of Iraq's current output. The winners, BP (BP) and China's CNPC, plan to bring the field to plateau production of 2.85 million barrels per day within six years. That would make it one of the most prolific fields in the world. However, the companies may have deliberately made high estimates so as to try to win the contracts.

BP also thinks it understands Rumaila well, having originally discovered the field in the 1950s and having worked on it with the Iraqis during the past five years. BP also thinks Rumaila closely resembles the giant Samatlor field in western Siberia, which it has successfully managed through its TNK-BP Russia subsidiary. Finally, through CNPC the partners will have access to a Chinese supply chain to bring in the low-cost equipment needed, including onshore drilling rigs. An Iraqi state company will have a 25% stake, while BP and CNPC will share a 75-25 split of the rest.

The top production targets bid by the international oil community on the six Iraqi oil fields on offer add up to 8.2 million barrels per day. If achieved, that level of output would put Iraq in a rarefied league with Saudi Arabia as a major oil exporter. Potential is one thing, of course, and actual production is another.




2. BP announced today a giant oil discovery at its Tiber Prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The well, located in Keathley Canyon block 102, approximately 250 miles (400 kilometres) south east of Houston, is in 4,132 feet (1,259 metres) of water. The Tiber well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet (10,685 metres) making it one of the deepest wells ever drilled by the oil and gas industry.

BP Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, “giant” discovery at the Tiber Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico that may contain more than 3 billion barrels, after drilling the world’s deepest exploration well.

The latest discovery will help BP, already the biggest producer in the Gulf of Mexico, boost output in the region by 50 percent to 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day after 2020.


FURTHER READING
Oil megaprojects list at wikipedia.

The Rumaila project is not included on the oil megaprojects list at this time.

Vankor Field in Russia came online August, 2009 and is to produce 60 thousand barrels per day in 2009 and 220 thousand barrels per day in 2010 and 315 thousand barrels per day in 2011.

Brazil, Russia, China, United States, Kazakhstan and Canada have key oil megaprojects that are non-OPEC over the next 5 years.
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