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BP exceeds production goal at Iraq’s Rumaila

Exploration & Production

Production levels at Iraqs Rumaila oilfield has exceeded the 10 per cent increase required for oil-giants BP and Chinas CNPC to start recovering development costs.

BP said in a statement that the Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO) has reached a significant milestone by increasing production by more than 10 per cent above the 1.066mn bpd baseline production rate agreed with the Iraqi government in December 2009.

Abdul Kareem Luaibi, the Minister of Oil, said: "This production increase is an important step for Iraq and demonstrates the success of the contracts awarded."

A South Oil Company document showed production at the oilfield had actually reached 1.27mn bpd on Dec. 26, 2010, and an industry source said that level was still being pumped, reported Reuters.

The increased production at Rumaila helped lift Iraq's current output to around 2.7mn bpd. Rumaila is Iraq's biggest oilfield and has estimated reserves of around 17 billion barrels and produces almost half of Iraq's total output. Chinese company CNPC is developing Rumaila with BP.

They set an eventual plateau production target for the field of 2.85mn bpd. BP said some 10,000 people were now working on Rumaila, more than double the number working there at the beginning of 2010. The steady increase in the workforce is one of the reasons why the production target has been met so quickly.

As Salah Mohammed, Rumaila Joint General Manager, stated: "It is testimony to the efforts of the thousands of people who are working on Rumaila – not just that we have increased production but that we are doing so sustainably and with due regard to safety."

BP also announced that the first phase of the new headquarters and accommodation complex in south Rumaila has been completed. A total of 41 new wells had been drilled and 103 older rigs rehabilitated – called workovers – over the last year.