Despite another violent day here Sunday, foreign oil companies unveiled several deals recommitting themselves to a major petroleum-development push that the government hopes will kick-start Iraq's vast but dilapidated oil industry.
Iraq's oil ministry has been hosting a two-day symposium for executives of companies that last year won contracts to help develop some of Iraq's biggest oil fields. While some companies have already begun working on their blocs, Iraqi oil officials and Western executives have acknowledged immense logistical challenges in the push.
Two oil-licensing auctions last year awarded 11 deals to international oil companies. If all the companies live up to their production promises, the projects will add nearly 10 million barrels a day of capacity by 2017 to Iraq's existing output of 2.5 million barrels a day.
MarketWatch has a related story - BP to raise Iraq output by 100,000 bpd.
U.K. oil major BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 35.77, +0.02, +0.06%) , along with its partner China National Petroleum Corp., plans to increase production from Iraq's Rumaila oil field by more than 100,000 barrels a day at the beginning of next year, a BP executive said Sunday.
"Initial production of the field will go up by 10% (at the) beginning of 2011," Michael Townshend, president of BP Iraq, told a two-day symposium held by the Iraqi oil ministry in Baghdad to discuss the co-ordination and implementation of the country's oil expansion plans.
Two oil licensing auctions last year awarded 11 deals to international oil companies that promise to add nearly 10 million barrels a day of capacity to Iraq's existing 2.5 million barrels a day by 2017.
The Rumaila field, with some 17 billion proven oil reserves, is currently producing 1.07 million barrels a day.
The BP-led consortium has pledged to almost triple production at the field to 2.85 million barrels a day from 1.07 million barrels a day in six years.