The West Qurna 2 oilfield in Iraq, one of the biggest oilfields in the world, could see delays in the next phase of its development, Middle East Business Intelligence (MEED) reported on Thursday.
Work on the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts and an oil gathering system at West Qurna 2 was expected to be completed before the end of this year, but it now faces delays, according to MEED.
West Qurna 2, one of the massive oilfields in the world, has estimated reserves of 14 billion barrels of crude oil and is operated by Russian oil firm Lukoil. The Russian company holds 75 percent of the West Qurna 2 field, which started commercial production of crude oil in 2014. The field has the capacity to pump as much as 400,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer behind Saudi Arabia, raked in more than $115 billion in oil revenues in 2023, according to figures released by the country’s oil ministry this week. That figure stems from crude oil exports of 1.209 billion barrels last year—or an average of 3.320 million barrels per day.
The figures were released a day after Iraq’s National Security Agency said that investigations into crude oil and oil products smuggling to the tune of roughly 470,000 barrels per month are ongoing, with 49 standing accused, including officers, associates, traders, and smugglers.
As OPEC’s second-largest crude oil producer, producing 4.5 million bpd in Q3, Iraq relies on oil revenues for nearly all of its export income.
Iraq’s oil revenues fell in 2020 to just $42 billion, according to Al-Monitor, as Saudi Arabia and Russia’s oil price war collided with the start of the pandemic, tanking crude oil prices. In 2021, Iraq’s oil revenues rebounded to $75.6 billion.
Iraq is home to the world’s fifth-largest proven oil reserves, holding 145 billion barrels.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Oil Prices Plunge Below $80 As Near-Term Demand Worries Grow
- The Oil Market Crisis Sparked By Russia’s Invasion Is Nearing Its End
- Russian Crude Oil Exports Plummeted At The End Of 2022