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Iraq asks BP to study developing Kirkuk oilfields

AFP  |  Baghdad 

has asked giant to draft a study on boosting production in all the oilfields of northern province, Minister al-Luaybi said today.

Luaybi told AFP he hoped to discuss the proposal with head, who is due to visit in the coming days.

"I suggested they study my proposal and I am waiting for their reply," Luaybi said.

In 2014, the ministry and signed a consultancy deal under which the titan would study reserves in the and fields and ways of developing them.

But lost the fields to Kurdish forces that year during a sweeping offensive by the Islamic State group, and the deal was never implemented.

"Because of IS, it was frozen," Luaybi said.

signed a new memorandum with in January after the took back control of the area.

Baba Gurgur, discovered in 1927, is Iraq's oldest oilfield.

forces reseized it from the Kurds in October along with the fields of Havana, Bai Hassan, Jambu and Khabbaz.

The five fields have a total output of around 470,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) but production and export have been slow as the main pipeline linking Kirkuk to the Ceyhan in was damaged and needs repairs.

A sixth oilfield, Khurmala, remains in Kurdish hands, but Luaybi insisted it belongs to Iraq's state-owned North Oil Company.

"Khurmala belongs to NOC and was discovered more than 30 years ago," he said. "We started developing it in 1995. NOC and the have finished drilling 36 wells there."

Luaybi said the Iraqi had launched a $37 million programme in 2004 to develop Khurmala.

The ministry of resources in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern seized Khurmala in 2008-2009, Luaybi said.

"But it's a field that belongs to the oil ministry of the federal government," Luaybi said.

Iraq is the second largest in the OPEC cartel after

It reported its at 109.6 million barrels in December last year, the same month that the government announced victory over IS.

Iraq in December 2017 earned around $6.5 billion (5.3 billion euros) from crude sales, at $59.3 per barrel.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 23:25 IST