New Firms Qualified for next Oil Licensing Round

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) has announced the five additional companies have been approved to bid for Iraq’s “borderline onshore & offshore exploration blocks & fields.”

The companies are listed as:

  • Dana Gas (UAE)
  • Dragon Oil (UAE)
  • Geo-Jade Petroleum (China)
  • Schlumberger (USA)
  • Zarubezhneft (Russia)

Eight companies had applied for approval.

The five successful companies will be eligible to compete along with the following companies which are qualified from previous licensing rounds:

The areas to be offered include the onshore exploration blocks of Khudher Al-Mai, Jebel Sanam (Jabal Sanam) and Umm-Qasr on the Kuwaiti border; the Sindbad, Huwaiza, Shihabi, Zurbatia and Naft Khana blocks on the Iranian border; and the offshore exploration blocks in the Iraqi regional waters of the Arab gulf.

The bidding process should commence in May, according to the following schedule:

(Source: Oil Ministry)

New Firms Qualified for next Oil Licensing Round

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) has announced the five additional companies have been approved to bid for Iraq’s “borderline onshore & offshore exploration blocks & fields.”

The companies are listed as:

  • Dana Gas (UAE)
  • Dragon Oil (UAE)
  • Geo-Jade Petroleum (China)
  • Schlumberger (USA)
  • Zarubezhneft (Russia)

Eight companies had applied for approval.

The five successful companies will be eligible to compete along with the following companies which are qualified from previous licensing rounds:

The areas to be offered include the onshore exploration blocks of Khudher Al-Mai, Jebel Sanam (Jabal Sanam) and Umm-Qasr on the Kuwaiti border; the Sindbad, Huwaiza, Shihabi, Zurbatia and Naft Khana blocks on the Iranian border; and the offshore exploration blocks in the Iraqi regional waters of the Arab gulf.

The bidding process should commence in May, according to the following schedule:

(Source: Oil Ministry)

Jacobs signs MOU with Iraq Oil Company

US-based Jacobs has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Iraq Oil Company to explore mutual benefits of cooperation in the region of Basra, Iraq.

The vast majority of Iraqi oil production takes place in Basra. Iraq Oil Company is looking for business partners based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support economic and social development in the Basra region through investments in upstream, downstream, refining, and other sectors.

David Zelinski, Jacobs Petroleum and Chemicals Senior Vice President and General Manager Middle East, said:

Jacobs was selected as single engineering partner to sign this strategic non-binding agreement.

“We will explore possibilities to deliver our services in support of the Oil & Gas, Refining and Petrochemicals sectors in Iraq, from our Saudi Arabian office – where we have had a presence for more than 40 years – as this aligns well with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase the export of services.

The signage took place during a business event attended by HH Khalid Al Faleh, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco; Jabbar al-Luaibi, Iraq Minister of Oil; Asad Al Eidani, the Governor of Basra; and Abdulaziz Al Shammary, the Saudi Ambassador in Iraq.

The governments of Iraq and Saudi Arabia work closely together to establish a clear regulation and warrantees for potential investors in terms of protection, trading and financial transactions.

(Source: Jacobs)

US emphasises Importance of Sound Banking System

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman (pictured) has  joined other distinguished guests and speakers at the Iraq Banking and Investment Summit on December 2.

The Ambassador spoke about the need to create economic opportunity for Iraq’s younger generation through a transition from a government-controlled, oil-based economy, toward a more diversified free market system that fosters and encourages private investment.

He noted the need to improve the ease of doing business in Iraq and emphasized that a sound banking system will be crucial to provide financing for aspiring entrepreneurs and business people.

The U.S. Embassy supports Prime Minister Abadi’s efforts to address these reforms and ‎is actively engaged in promoting U.S. business investment in Iraq.

(Source: US Embassy)

BHGE to supply Generators for Halfaya Oilfield

Baker Hughes, a GE company, has signed an agreement for the provision of turbine generators to PetroChina International Iraq, in the biggest Turbomachinery & Process Solutions (TPS) agreement ever between the two companies. 

BHGE will deliver its Frame 6B gas turbine electric generator trains to support power generation for the Halfaya oilfield located in the Maysan Governorate. The equipment will generate 150 MW of power for the project and leverage support from BHGE’s existing local and global workforce. The components of the turbo generator units will be manufactured and assembled at BHGE’s Nuovo Pignone facility in Florence, Italy.

Rami Qasem, President & CEO of MENAT & India, BHGE, said:

This deal strengthens our local footprint in Iraq and further demonstrates our dedication to the region where we see great promise and have formed strong partnerships through ongoing projects and the development of local skills.

“The provision of our field-proven turbomachinery solutions enables international operators around the globe to safely and stably operate, all while reaching their oil production targets and staying on schedule. This is especially true for this particular contract, as our turbines will provide reliable and efficient energy to the Halfaya field and further support the sustainability of Iraq’s ongoing oil and gas operations.

BHGE’s Frame 6 turbines are able to operate in extreme conditions and harsh environments across a wide range of applications, and have been proven and tested with more than 55 million operating hours.

The turbines are designed to be fully fuel flexible, possessing the ability to run on a wide range of gas or distillate liquids, including sour gas. This offers valuable cost saving to customers, as the turbines can run on the most economically available fuel for a given operation.  In addition to the Halfaya contract, the turbines have been used in multiple projects in the region.

The Halfaya oilfield was discovered in 1976 with 4.1 billion barrels in reserves and is situated in the southern part of Iraq in the country’s Maysan Governate. The field, operated by PetroChina International Iraq, currently produces approx. 200,000 barrels per day.

This agreement with PetroChina International Iraq further strengthens BHGE’s presence in the country, where it has contributed to several projects, including power generation support for two of Iraq’s largest fields – West Qurna and Rumaila – and retains a local footprint consisting of over 70% Iraqi employees.

BHGE also owns and operates a technical services facility in North Rumaila, which opened in 2013 and was expanded this summer. The facility offers a wide range of testing, repair and refurbishment services and has helped to create local employment opportunities and training for more than 2,000 Iraqi professionals.

(Source: BHGE)

US Providing Essential Support for Iraq’s Children

Hundreds of thousands of children and their families in Iraq who have suffered the pain of brutal conflict and displacement will have regular access to lifesaving clean drinking water and services that respond to gender based violence thanks to help from the U.S. government.

With the latest contribution of nearly 9 million US$ from the United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), UNICEF and its partners will be able to provide safe drinking water to families living in displacement camps as part of its emergency first line response, as well as repair damaged water supply infrastructure.

OFDA’s generous assistance will also help bring age-appropriate and survivor-centered community-based multi-sector services to survivors of gender based violence.

Hamida Ramadhani, UNICEF’s deputy representative in Iraq, said:

“The provision of multi-sector support services to women and children who carry invisible wounds as a result of conflict, gender-based violence and large-scale displacement is particularly important to help them cope and to re-build their lives.”

Nearly five million children are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq. UNICEF continues to count on the United States as a major global donor of humanitarian and development assistance to respond to the most urgent needs of the most vulnerable children around the world.

(Source: UN)

Chevron, Total interested in Majnoon oilfield

By John Lee.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has reportedly said that Chevron and Total have expressed interest in developing the Majnoon oilfield.

Oil giant Shell is trying to sell its stake in the field following a failure to reach agreement with Iraq’s Ministry of Oil.

Reuters quotes the Minister as saying that negotiations are continuing with Shell, that he hopes to reach a satisfactory deal for both parties, and that he has not started negotiations with other companies to take over Shell’s stake.

(Source: Reuters)

DNO Joins ExxonMobil on Baeshiqa License

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced an agreement with ExxonMobil to join the Baeshiqa [Bashiqa, Bashika] license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

DNO will assume operatorship of the license with a 40 percent paying (32 percent net) interest, acquiring one-half of ExxonMobil’s position.

ExxonMobil retains a 40 percent paying (32 percent net) interest, the Turkish Energy Company (TEC) its 20 percent paying (16 percent net) interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government its 20 percent carried interest.

Pending Government approval, DNO will drill an exploration well in the first half of 2018 with a second exploration well to follow on a separate structure.

The 324 square kilometer license is situated 60 kilometers west of Erbil and 20 kilometers east of Mosul. ExxonMobil had previously conducted extensive geological and geophysical studies and constructed a drilling pad before work was interrupted due to security conditions in the region.

The Baeshiqa license contains two large, undrilled structures which are expected to have multiple independent stacked target reservoir systems, including in the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic.

DNO currently operates two other licenses in Kurdistan: one contains the Tawke and Peshkabir fields which together produce over 110,000 barrels of oil per day and the other the Benenan and Bastora heavy oil fields which are undergoing further appraisal and development. With three rigs currently deployed, the Company is the most active driller among the international operators in Kurdistan.

Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani (pictured), DNO’s Executive Chairman, said:

“We are pleased to partner with ExxonMobil, TEC and the Government on this exciting exploration opportunity.

“We bring to the project a 10-year record of successful and fast-track operations in Kurdistan, culminating in more than 200 million barrels produced to date.

“Following regularization of export payments and a landmark agreement with the Government to close out our historical receivables, our foot is back firmly on the accelerator.”

(Source: DNO)