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Oil firms to submit $1bn Iraq development plan

Reuters

Sunday, 02 September 2007

Addax Petroleum and Genel Enerji expect to submit a $1 billion development plan within weeks to Iraq's Kurdish region for their joint venture TTopco's Taq Taq oilfield, a TTopco executive said Sunday.

Output from the field could hit 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2010, Les Blair, general manager of TTopco, told Reuters.

"The production plateau is up to 200,000 bpd," Blair said. "In the coming weeks we'll submit the field development plan. Investment would be approximately $1 billion."

The plan will go to Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) for approval. The blueprint requires access to an export route for the oil as output would exceed local demand, Blair said.

In May 2006, Swiss-based Addax and Turkey's Genel Enerji signed a 25-year production sharing agreement (PSA) with the KRG for Taq Taq.

The oilfield is 60 kilometres north of the giant Kirkuk oilfield in Iraq, which has been plagued by a brutal insurgency since a US-led invasion in March 2003.

But the Kurdish region has been relatively stable and the government - hungry for development - has encouraged operators such as TTopco to begin work.

The KRG plans to boost output to one million bpd in about five years from just a few thousand bpd now. It has inked five PSAs and has said it has more deals ready to sign.

The region had put new deals on hold while it waited for Baghdad to pass a controversial new federal oil law which stipulates who controls the world's third largest oil reserves and how revenue is distributed.

Washington has pushed Iraq for months to speed up its passage and that of other legislation, which it sees as pivotal to reconciling warring Iraqis, rebuilding Iraq's shattered economy and attracting foreign investment.

After months of waiting for Baghdad, the KRG passed its own oil law in August.

The KRG says the PSAs that it has already signed were in line with the constitution and the new oil law.

The KRG and Baghdad have clashed over the contracts, and the KRG has said it will review them to ensure their harmony with new laws.

The passing of the oil law was also expected to herald an agreement on export routes for crude from the Kurdish region.

The central government has yet to give the nod to Norwegian operator DNO to hook its oil output from the Tawke field in the Kurdish region into Iraq's main export pipeline to Turkey.

DNO has already built a link from the Tawke field to the export pipeline. Output from Tawke is limited while DNO awaits permission to export, and the company has been delivering crude to local markets in trucks.


:: Article nr. 35903 sent on 02-sep-2007 23:07 ECT

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Link: www.arabianbusiness.com/498915-oil-firms-to-submit-1bn-iraq-development-plan?ln=
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