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Iraq Cuts Output At Oil Field On Gas Emissions

Iraq will reduce oil production from the Nahr Bin Omar oil field to a minimum to cut gas emissions and pollution, Reuters reported today, quoting the Iraqi state news agency.

Arab News quoted the director general of the field’s operator, Basra Oil Company, as saying “Nahr Bin Omar oilfield is considered one of the most controversial fields because of the pollution and gas emissions. It has been decided to cut crude oil production to minimum and to stop operating all oil wells to provide environmental protection.”

Nahr bin Omar has reserves of some 6.5 billion barrels of oil and 12 billion cu ft of natural gas. Daily production of oil averages 40,000 bpd and gas production stands at 25 million cu ft daily.

The decision to cut production at the field could be motivated by genuine--although not very typical--concern for the environment, but it could also prove to be a way of bringing Iraq closer to its production quota under the OPEC+ agreement. The latest data on OPEC production, from an S&P Global Platts survey, showed that Iraq and Nigeria continued to lagged behind their co-members in compliance.

Interestingly enough, Iraq managed to produce more than it should despite the temporary shutdown of a field that pumps some 70,000 bpd in late January. The Al Ahdab field, operated by Chinese CNPC, stopped producing oil about a month ago amid widespread economic protests, sparking concern that more fields could be affected by the protests hurting the country’s vital oil revenues. A week later, the field was back online after the government struck a deal with the security guards that had blockaded it, causing the shutdown.

The protests also shut down another oil field twice in less than a month. The Nassiriya field, in southern Iraq, was first shut down in December and then in January as protesters demanded jobs, the Iraq Oil Report wrote. Nassiriya produces some 80,000 bpd.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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