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CNPC Completes First Phase of Al-Ahdab Field

Source: Reuters 6/27/2011, Location: Middle East

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the first foreign oil company to sign an oil service contract in Iraq after former president Saddam Hussein was toppled, said that it completed construction of the first phase of the Al-Ahdab oilfield on June 21.

The parent of PetroChina Co Ltd said it started work on the Al-Ahdab oilfield in March 2009 after successfully renegotiating an old development deal, and hoped to pump 110,000-130,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the field, which had estimated reserves of 1 billion barrels.

Completion of the first phase, with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per year or 60,000 bpd, was ahead of schedule, marking major progress in building Middle East oil and gas projects, reported the China Petroleum Daily, CNPC's in-house newspaper. The field was the first new oil capacity building project in 20 years in Iraq, the report said.

CNPC, the largest foreign oil investor in post-U.S. invasion Iraq, received its first cargo of crude oil as payment for helping to develop Iraq's Rumaila oilfield in late May, two weeks after partner BP Plc loaded its first shipment. Rumaila pumps almost half of Iraq's oil output. CNPC is also developing Iraq's Halfaya oilfield along with France's Total SA and Malaysia's Petronas.

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