BP in Iraq

03 November 2009, BP signed a technical service contract with Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company which aims to boost production from the super-giant Rumaila field in south Iraq
Drilling team, Iraq Drilling team, Southern Rumaila oilfield, Iraq

What we do

BP and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are working through a technical service contract (TSC) with Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) to increase production from the Rumaila oilfield, near Basra in south Iraq. The contract was signed in November 2009.

The contract has a 20 year lifetime and will aim to increase plateau production to 2.85 million b/d in the second half of the next decade.

BP has previously supported the field’s operation through a three year memorandum of understanding to provide technical assistance, which was agreed in 2005. The company has historical knowledge of the field dating back to its discovery in 1953.

The substantial level of investment, technology application, and subsequent increased production will provide wide-ranging development and training opportunities for Iraqis. We believe the technical service contract will bring significant benefits and the transfer of skills and will be the start of a long-term relationship with the people of Iraq.

Our people and partners

The consortium led by BP (38 per cent) with partners CNPC (37 per cent) and the Iraq government’s representative State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO – 25 per cent) aims to nearly triple the Rumaila field’s output, which would make it the world’s second largest producing oilfield. The Government of Iraq will get about 98% of the revenue from the 20-year TSC. By 2016, production of 2.85 million barrels a day will mean Rumaila will account for:

  • 3% of global oil production
  • 7% of OPEC production
  • 10% of Middle East production

With around 65 billion barrels of initial oil in place – of which 12 billion barrels have been recovered, we estimate that there is probably 20 billion barrels of oil still to recover, assuming a recovery factor of 40%, which is perfectly credible in this sort of field.

The work will be undertaken by the Rumaila Field Operating Organisation (ROO) which will manage the rehabilitation and expansion project. ROO will be staffed by employees seconded from the South Oil Company, supported by a small number of technical experts and managers from BP and CNPC.

BP and its partners will use a wide number of best-in-class technology applications while working on the Rumaila field. Using our reservoir management expertise to boost recovery and increase production, we will focus initially on waterflood and gas reinjection optimization.

This is good business for BP and competitive with other opportunities in our portfolio. We will benefit from SOC’s deep knowledge of the field and existing expertise in its operation. CNPC will bring fresh capability, including the opportunity under competitive bidding to access the Chinese supply chain. BP will contribute all of its experience in operating other super-giant fields such as Prudhoe Bay and – via the TNK-BP JV – Samotlor.

BP office in Iraq

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