Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has recently upgraded its oil export pipeline, boosting its capacity to 1 million bpd from 700,000 bpd, to accommodate future production growth from the region, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government said over the weekend.
“This extra capacity will accommodate future production growth from KRG producing fields, and can also be used by the federal government to export the currently stranded oil in Kirkuk and surrounding areas,” KRG’s ministry said in a statement.
Around 300,000 bpd of crude oil previously pumped and exported in the Kirkuk province to the Turkish port of Ceyhan have been shut in since the Iraqi federal government moved in October last year to take control over the oil fields in Kirkuk from Kurdish forces.
Thamer Ghadhban, the new Iraqi oil minister, said last week that Iraq’s federal government “will work to overcome all obstacles” regarding the resumption of oil exports through the Kurdistan region.
The KRG, for its part, currently exports more than 400,000 bpd of crude oil through its pipeline, its natural resources ministry said.
“The KRG’s policy of maintaining consistent and timely payments to its producing oil companies has led to more investment in its oil fields, stabilising production levels and paving the way for further production increases during 2019,” the ministry’s statement reads.
Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO ASA has been ramping up crude oil production at the Peshkabir oil field in Kurdistan this year.
Last month, the firm said that production at the Peshkabir field had ramped up to 50,000 bpd, meeting the end-2018 target ahead of schedule and below budget.
“We are all in on our Kurdistan operations and delivering,” DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in early October. “Peshkabir continues to exceed expectations and we are eager to probe the promising potential at Baeshiqa,” the manager added.
According to the KRG, the recent production increase at Peshkabir has more than offset the natural decline of the main Tawke field area, where production is now down to around 80,000 bpd, from 109,000 bpd in July 2017.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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