KRG's Largest-Producing Field Working to Boost Output

Source: Reuters 8/15/2014, Location: Middle East

Oil production at Iraqi Kurdistan's largest-producing field is set to rise to as much as 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the month despite the advance of Islamist militants, the general manager of the operating company told Reuters.

"We have a target to ramp up production towards 140,000 bpd and I believe we would achieve this by the end of the month," Onder Tekeli from Taq Taq Operating Co (TTOPCO), a joint venture of Anglo-Turkish Genel Energy and Sinopec's Addax Petroleum said late on Thursday.

Radical Sunni militants of the Islamic State last week advanced to within a half hour's drive of Arbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region and a hub for international oil companies, before U.S. military air strikes thwarted their advance.

Several Western oil companies including U.S. giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron operating in the previously stable Kurdish enclave have evacuated some of their staff while some smaller producers like Afren have halted production.

But there was little impact on overall oil output in the region, with only about 5,000 bpd of production cut, according to company statements, though fighting between Kurdish peshmerga forces and Islamic State fighters not far from Arbil have kept firms and investors on edge.

But at the Taq Taq oil field, which lies 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Arbil, morale was good, said Tekeli.

"The worries started about the IS (Islamic State) fighters when they attacked the Makhmour camp. But we have not stopped working and our local staffers have expressed their commitment to us," Tekeli said.

Makhmour lies to the southwest of Arbil and fighting there was some of the closest to the Kurdish regional capital last week.

TTOPCO will set up three well-site production facilities to boost output, Ozan Guler, production superintendent said at the site as he walked through a labyrinth of oil pumping machinery.

"We already have the potential to boost production up to 140,000 bpd in our wells ... We will be setting up these new facilities whose start-up period is about 10 days," Guler said.

Genel Energy, which operates the Taq Taq and Tawke oilfields in Kurdistan, has said it has evacuated non-core personnel from fields in the region that are not producing oil. Last week it said production was still ongoing at the two fields and it was averaging a combined 230,000 bpd.

Genel's shares fell by almost a quarter in early August as Islamic State forces advanced towards Arbil, but have since rebounded by around 12 percent.

For more information about related Opportunities and Key Players visit Iraq Oil and Gas Projects


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