Iraq asks BP to aid production spike

Recaptured Kirkuk fields offer production opportunities for Iraqi government.

Iraq's Oil Minister Jabar Al Luaibi is eyeing production increases.
Iraq's Oil Minister Jabar Al Luaibi is eyeing production increases.

Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabar Al Luaibi has asked British oil and gas supermajor BP to help increase production at oilfields recaptured from the Kurds in northern Kirkuk province, according to the AFP.

Luaibi said he will request BP to draw up a report concerning ramping up output when the company’s CEO visits Kirkuk in the coming days.

BP is the largest foreign operator in Iraq’s oil industry. It manages the vast Rumaila field in the south of the country which generates 1.5mn barrels per day (bpd), which is close to a third of Iraq’s total output.

In 2014, the Oil Ministry and BP signed a consultancy agreement under which the energy firm would examine reserves in the Baba Gurgur and Havana fields and explore ways of developing them.

But Baghdad lost control of the Kirkuk fields to Kurdish forces during the major advance of IS and the deal was never actioned.

The five fields in the Kirkuk region have a total output of around 470,000 bpd per day but production and exports have been affected due to the main pipeline linking Kirkuk to the Ceyhan oil terminal in Turkey being damaged.

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