Iraq to hold key oil field talks
Baghdad, September 10, 2011
Iraq expects to resume talks with oil majors this month on a multi-billion-dollar oilfield water injection plan after disagreement over costs suspended the project for months, a senior oil official said.
ExxonMobil was picked on behalf of foreign oil firms to lead the mega water-injection project, needed to boost crude production rates from Iraq's southern oilfields.
International oil companies that won contracts in southern oilfields include Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil, BP and Italy's ENI.
'ExxonMobil, with other companies, have reviewed their position and returned with new suggestions and ideas that agree with the oil ministry's demands,' head of the ministry's contracts and licensing directorate Abdul-Mahdy Al Ameedi said.
'I can say we will reach an agreement with companies this time.'
Al Ameedi said the oil ministry would start studying a revised version of a 'heads of agreement', which governs the principles for starting the project, along with new proposals submitted by ExxonMobil and the other companies, after a three-day roadshow from Sunday to Tuesday in Jordan.
Iraqi oil officials will present protocols for its fourth energy auction, scheduled for late January, to potential bidders at the meeting in Amman.
'We are busy with the fourth auction roadshow now and after finishing it we will straightaway start studying the new proposals and the revised heads of agreement. We will resume meetings with ExxonMobil and other leading companies after mid-month,' Al Ameedi said.
Iraq has signed a series of deals with oil majors to develop its largest oilfields and is seeking to boost production as the country pulls back from years of war and economic sanctions.
The water injection scheme would help raise extraction rates and maintain reservoir pressure to overcome production declines at fields such as West Qurna, Majnoon, Zubair and Rumaila.