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BP to help revive Iraq' s Kirkuk oil field

BY WAYNE MA, HASSAN HAFIDH and SELINA WILLIAMS

SEOUL -- BP PLC has signed a preliminary agreement to provide technical assistance to help revive Iraq' s Kirkuk oil field, Iraq' s oil minister said Wednesday.

Production at Kirkuk, discovered in 1927, has declined to 260,000 barrels a day, from 900,000 barrels a day in the early 2000s, after years of injecting water and the dumping of unwanted crude and other oil products in the field' s reservoir.

"They (BP) have already signed a letter of intent, but work hasn' t started yet," Iraqi oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said in response to a question on whether BP was close to signing a deal to develop the field. Mr. Luaibi spoke on the sidelines of a meeting of energy ministers in Seoul.

Mr. Luaibi also said that Iraq' s West Qurna 2 oil field, which is being developed by OAO Lukoil Holdings, is expected to begin production in March 2014.

London-based BP is one of several international oil companies already redeveloping other old oil fields in Iraq. Baghdad has signed a series of contracts with international oil majors to boost Iraq' s output to 12 million barrels a day by 2017, enough to make it the largest-producing country in the world.

Ali Nazar, a senior official at state-run Iraqi oil marketing company SOMO, said BP has a preliminary project at Kirkuk, which includes studying gas injection and water treatment.

"They are studying these things first, and they will start (developing) later," Mr. Nazar said, adding that there is no timetable yet for BP' s increased involvement.

"We are pleased with this agreement," a BP spokesman said.

Dow Jones Newswires

09/11/2013

 

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