Iraq’s Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi confirmed on Saturday that BP is interested in getting involved in the redevelopment of Iraq’s giant Kirkuk oilfield, which is suffering from falling output.
Production at Kirkuk, discovered in 1927, has declined to 260,000 bpd from 900,000 bpd in the early 2000s, after years of injecting water and the dumping of unwanted crude and other oil products into the field’s reservoir.
London-based BP is one of several international oil companies already redeveloping other old oil fields in Iraq. Baghdad has signed a series of contracts with international oil majors to boost Iraq’s output to 12mn bpd by 2017, enough to make it the largest-producing country in the world.
Luaibi, who was on a four-day visit to India with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, denied reports of Russian oil major Lukoil showing any interest in the redevelopment of Kirkuk oil field.
Separately, Luaibi said US energy giant ExxonMobil Corp has sought Iraqi government approval to sell 35% of its stake in the West Qurna-1 oil field.
Exxon, which holds 60% stake in the oil field, plans to sell 25% stake to PetroChina Co and 10% stake to Indonesia’s Pertamina, he said.