Iraq's Shahristani says it may lower 2017 output target to 9-10 mil b/d
Baghdad (Platts)--17Dec2012/1139 am EST/1639 GMT
Iraq is eyeing a total production capacity target of 9-10 million b/d by
2017, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani told Platts in
an interview Sunday. While the potential figure would represent a drop in the
country's overall target, it would still require an aggressive expansion
Shahristani -- the architect of Iraq's post-2003 oil industry -- said
the new target is based on analysis by the oil ministry, consultants and the
"From Iraq's point of view, to maximize its recovery, that kind of
overall level seems to be reasonable and many companies find themselves also
at levels lower than the plateau, lower than was contracted for," he said.
The oil ministry has since 2009 awarded 11 long-term technical service
contracts to foreign oil companies and consortiums to develop or further
develop Iraq's major oil fields in the south. At the time of the awards, Iraq
had set a target of raising production to a plateau of 12.5 million b/d from
these fields from 2.4 million b/d at the time.
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Oil Minister Abdul Karim Al-Luaibi also said recently that the country's
target has been reduced to 9 million b/d, adding that although this is lower
than the original total target of more than 13 million b/d when fields being
developed by Iraqi state companies are included, Iraq would still need to
expand its oil export routes.
Companies such as ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and Lukoil bid for developing
Iraq's largest oil fields in licensing rounds in 2009. The two bidding
parameters were a per barrel remuneration fee to be paid by Iraq and a
production plateau target to be held for a pre-set amount of time, mostly for
The companies are now in discussions with the ministry over technical
and commercial changes to be made to their contracts in order to adjust to
the new target.
"The general outlook seems that overall production between 9 and 10
million b/d is a production level that can be sustained for 20 to 25 years
and it will be better for Iraq -- better in a sense it will allow...[the
country to] keep it for a much longer time than to peak for seven years and
then to decline quickly," Shahristani said.
"Most of the companies, almost all of them, have prepared their
production plan based on best energy practices for that particular reservoir,
in their field," he said.
The plans -- some of which have been formally discussed with the
ministry -- are yet to be approved, sources told Platts.
--Ben Lando, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by James Leech, email@example.com