Iraqi oil company pushes for lower production

MEED    15 October 2020 (Last Updated October 15th, 2020 16:04)

Iraqi oil company pushes for lower production

Maysan Oil Company wants production at the Halfaya field to be 100,000 b/d

State-owned Maysan Oil Company (MOC) is pushing for production to be lowered to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) at Iraq’s Halfaya field, according to industry sources.

Currently, the field is producing 150,000 b/d, down from 400,000 b/d prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Production at the field has been reduced amid low oil prices and fears about the spread of Covid-19, according to industry sources.

Chinese oil and gas company Petrochina is the operator of the field and, under the terms of the technical service contract it signed with MOC, it should be producing 450,000 b/d.

“It is hard to find a market for the heavy and sulphurous oil produced from Halfaya during a glut of sweet, light crude,” said one source.

By July, production at the field had declined to less than 170,000 b/d.

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 last year, 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 to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), will process approximately 300 million standard cubic feet a day of natural gas extracted alongside crude oil at the field.

In July, 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 expected this project is likely to take longer than first thought.

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