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Iraq

Reviving one of the world’s super-giant oilfields

bp has a long history of oil exploration and production in Iraq. This history stretches 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. The collaboration in Iraq continued up to the early 1970s, with ‎the Zubair field discovered in 1948 and the super-giant oilfield, Rumaila, in 1953.‎

 

In 2009, bp became the first international oil company to return to Iraq after a period of 35 ‎years. Between 2003 and 2006, bp 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 (TSC) to increase production at Rumaila, in partnership with the state-owned ‎South Oil Company, recently renamed Basra Oil Company (BOC).‎

 

‎Today, bp, PetroChina and BOC are working in partnership to develop Rumaila, the ‎second-largest producing field in the world, estimated to have around 17 billion barrels of ‎recoverable oil remaining.‎

 

‎bp provided technical assistance to the North Oil Company to aid the redevelopment of ‎the Kirkuk field. Kirkuk is estimated to have around 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil ‎remaining.‎

 

bp’s philosophy in Rumaila is founded on a recognition that all our partners make a ‎hugely positive contribution: 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.‎‎

 

Rumaila – a summary of progress

The 25-year TSC was signed between BOC and bp, PetroChina and the State Oil Marketing ‎Organization, setting out the framework to redevelop Rumaila and significantly increase ‎production output.‎

 

‎In June 2010, the Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO) was formed as an ‎unincorporated joint venture between these organizations, with the remit to operate and ‎redevelop the field, with bp as the lead contractor. In September 2014, the TSC was ‎extended by another five years to service the field through to 2034. Today, more than ‎‎7,000 people (94% of them Iraqi) from BOC, bp and PetroChina and more than 22,000 ‎contractors (most of whom are from Basra) support Rumaila’s operations.‎

 

‎With bp’s guidance, the operation has made substantial progress under ROO’s ‎stewardship: over 5 billion barrels of oil has been produced since 2010. Production has ‎increased 40%, rising at its peak to over 1.5 million barrels per day, so that Rumaila now ‎delivers around a third of Iraq’s oil.‎

 

‎From the outset, the safety of the people working at Rumaila has been our number one ‎priority. We introduced mandatory personal protective equipment, ‘control of work’ safety ‎processes and world-class, 24-hour medical care for all staff working at the field. Over 221 ‎km2 of land has been cleared of unexploded ordnance and more than 3.2 million m2 of oil-contaminated land has now been remediated and brought back to use.‎

 

‎The field has also been transformed over the past 10 years. The number of performing ‎wells has more than doubled, with the majority of Rumaila’s oil now coming from ‎reactivated previously ceased wells and 385 newly drilled wells. A new headquarters, ‎supply base, training academy and an extension to the water treatment plant have all ‎been constructed, alongside a new 150MW electricity plant that provides power to the ‎field and the Iraq national grid. A digital oilfield has been created, with data captured in ‎real time from wells, facilities and pipelines to guide decision-making. New separating ‎vessels have been installed in degassing stations to maintain the high quality of crude oil, ‎and facilities across the field have been upgraded and modernized.‎

 

‎Rumaila is now a more advanced oilfield. bp has invested billions of dollars in new ‎equipment and systems and put 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 and ‎expertise have significantly increased revenues to Iraq, helping the nation to re-build its ‎economy. As one of the largest producing fields in the world, we believe Rumaila is a ‎model of what can be achieved in Iraq.‎

 

Rumaila is a supergiant oil field requiring significant investment to continue to modernize ‎and deliver future production growth – vital revenue for the government of Iraq and its ‎people. Therefore, bp and PetroChina have signed an agreement to establish Basra Energy ‎Company Limited (BECL), an incorporated joint venture (IJV). BECL is intended to own ‎and manage their interests at the Rumaila field, subject to relevant approvals and ‎clearances. BECL will enable optimized and continued investment throughout the duration ‎of the existing technical service contract – due to expire at the end of 2034 – including ‎enhanced access to external financing.‎