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June 11, 2021

Drilling on track to resume at Iraq oil field

Drilling work is set to start again on 1 July at Iraq’s Halfaya field after a delay of operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By MEED   

Drilling operations at Iraq’s Halfaya field are on track to restart on 1 July, according to industry sources.

Originally the drilling operations were scheduled for December last year, but they were delayed due to issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In November 2020, MEED reported that staff numbers on site had been reduced to around just 70 workers, down from about 240 in February 2020.

Exports from the field stood at 123,000 barrels a day (bpd) in November 2020, down from 400,000bpd before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chinese oil and gas company Petrochina is the operator of the field and, under the terms of the technical service contract it signed with state-owned Maysan Oil Company (MOC), it should be producing 450,000bpd.

In July 2020, production at the field had declined to less than 170,000bpd.

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Halfaya is MOC’s largest oil field, producing the majority of MOC’s total output.

Halfaya is one of many oil and gas fields in the Middle East and North Africa region that have reduced output due to a combination of reduced energy demand and logistical issues connected to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In April 2019, China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC) announced it had won a contract to build and operate facilities to process natural gas extracted alongside crude at the Halfaya oil field.

CPECC signed a $1.07bn engineering, procurement, construction, commission, operations and maintenance (EPCCOM) contract for the plant with Iraq’s Oil Ministry on 29 July 2019.

CPECC, which is affiliated with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is expected to process around 300 million standard cubic feet a day (Mscfpd) of natural gas extracted alongside crude oil at the field.

In July 2020, MEED revealed that the plant was 30% complete.

A total of 30 months was originally scheduled for the Halfaya gas processing plant project to be completed, but because of issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely this project will take longer than first thought.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.

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