BP in Iraq

BP has a long history of oil exploration and production in Iraq.  This history stretches right back to the 1920s when the company that would eventually come to be known as BP helped Iraq locate, produce and export oil from Baba Gurgur, Kirkuk.   This was the largest oilfield in the world at that time. This collaboration in Iraq continued up to the early 1970s, with the Zubair field being discovered in 1948 and the supergiant oilfield, Rumaila, in 1953.

In 2009, BP became the first International Oil Company to come back to Iraq after a period of 35 years.  Between 2003 and 2006, BP had conducted a technical evaluation of the Rumaila field with the Ministry of Oil and in 2009 BP and PetroChina were awarded a Technical Service Contract to transform production at Rumaila with the South Oil Company (SOC). BP, PetroChina and SOC are working in partnership to develop the second largest field in the world.

BP is now also working with the North Oil Company (NOC) on the redevelopment of the Kirkuk field having signed an agreement in September 2013 to provide technical assistance. Rumaila is estimated to have around 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil remaining, while Kirkuk has around 9 billion.

BP’s philosophy in Rumaila and, most recently in Kirkuk, is based on a belief that all our partners have something positive to contribute. We are privileged to be working with the Iraqi people: they bring a significant depth of knowledge and an extraordinary determination to succeed. BP is bringing world class technology, processes and systems, helping to lay the foundations for long-term success in Iraq.

With the majority of the world's giant oilfields in decline, the importance of Rumaila and Kirkuk to the future of oil production both inside and outside Iraq is clear.  

Rumaila – a summary of progress 

The twenty-five year Technical Service Contract (TSC) was signed between SOC and BP (47.6%), PetroChina (46.4%) and the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) (6%), which sets out the framework to re-develop Rumaila and significantly increase production output.  The Government of Iraq receives about 98% of the revenue from the 25-year TSC. Today, over 7,000 people from SOC, BP & PetroChina (98% of them Iraqi) and over 22,000 contractors (most of them from Basra) support Rumaila’s operations.

BP has invested billions of dollars in new equipment and systems and put our global experts to work; for example, 3D Seismic Surveying with BP proprietary technology has given an unprecedented geological understanding of 9,000 cubic kilometres of subsurface terrain. This investment in money and expertise has significantly increased revenues to Iraq: revenues that help Iraq re-build its economy.  We believe Rumaila is a model of what can be achieved and it is now one of the largest producing fields in the world. 

Rumaila is the largest oilfield ever discovered in Iraq and is now the second largest in the world.  Average daily production for 2014 was 1.34 million barrels per day (bpd), part of an ongoing trend that has seen daily production rise from around 950,000 bpd in 2009 when BP joined the project. Rumaila now delivers more than 40% of Iraq’s oil and accounts for over 50% of Iraq’s budget revenues.

Since 2009, the safety of the people working on Rumaila has been our number one priority. We have introduced Personal Protective Equipment, been installing ‘Control of Work’ safety processes and over 100 million square metres of land has been cleared of unexploded ordnance, in what was then the largest commercial  land clearing operation conducted anywhere in the world. 

BP office in Iraq

  • BP Iraq NV
  • C/o BP Group Chertsey Road,
    Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex
    TW16 7LN United Kingdom