Iraq’s oil ministry has ordered state-held firms to take over the development of the Mansuriyah gas field and the Nassiriya oil field, after foreign firms failed to resume work at the gas field and after Baghdad failed to attract international investors to boost the production at the oil field.
Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi has order state-owned firms to develop Mansuriyah, after a foreign-led consortium failed to restart work at the gas field as per the minister’s request in September 2017, the Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, as carried by Reuters.
Back in 2011, Iraq signed an agreement with a group of foreign companies led by Turkey’s state-run TPAO and including South Korea’s Kogas and the Kuwait Energy Company, to develop the Mansuriyah gas field. The foreign firms stopped work in 2014 when Islamic State advanced to take over territories in Iraq. After Iraq managed to push the Islamist terrorists out of most of the areas they had held in Iraq, the oil ministry asked the consortium to resume work on the field in September last year. Despite repeated requests, the foreign companies failed to restart the field’s development, according to oil ministry officials.
Iraq wants to boost its gas production to feed power plants and reduce electricity imports that weigh on its budget. Electricity shortages during the summer are fueling protests and sit-ins at oil fields in southern Iraq, where people gather to protest against the electricity outages as well as a lack of other basic services such as water supply.
At the Nassiriya oil field, Iraq has failed to attract international investments that would boost its oil production and build a refinery, so the oil minister al-Luiebi also ordered state-run firms to take over the development. Dhi Qar Oil and Iraq Drilling Co were asked to develop the Nassiriya oil field in southern Iraq. Baghdad plans to raise the field’s production to 200,000 bpd in a year’s time, up from the current 90,000 bpd, and plans to spend US$140 million on this, according to an oil ministry statement.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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