The exploration of Iraq's rich oil and gas fields will be under the spotlight during a top meeting of oil executives and Iraqi energy regulators in Istanbul in September as global companies that have won contracts prepare to start the development of various fields.
The programme director of Iraq Future Energy 2010, Claire Pallen, says "with the recent awarding of rights to develop various oil and gas fields in Iraq the world's oil and gas executives now await the formation of the government bodies following the recent general elections as well as the eagerly awaited third licensing round that is scheduled for September. Top representatives from global oil giants as well as lawmakers from Iraq will meet in September to prepare for the road ahead with regards to the short to medium term development of Iraq's oil and gas sector".
Rumaila progressing wellIn 2009, British oil company BP won the first round license bid with China's CNPC, to start the development of the Rumaila oil field. BP Iraq's President Michael Townshend says much has been achieved since the contract became effective six months ago: "the Joint Management Committee has been formed and is meeting regularly with partners of South Oil Company (SOC), PetroChina and SOMO. Along with the initial production rate, the annual work programme and budget was approved early on. Key contracts have been awarded and plans are in place to double the activity in the field towards the end of the year. Key appointments have been made at the senior and team leader level and from July the Rumaila Operating Organisation will be established which will run the Rumaila field."
Opportunities for Iraqi companiesOne of the largest direct employment and training opportunities will come through the more than 3000 SOC staff that are transferred into the Rumaila Operating Organisation which will run the field. Says Michael Townshend: "In addition and from the start Iraqi companies will have the opportunity to participate. Recently the Iraq Drilling Company won the tender for the supply of rigs and associated services for the field. In addition the Base camp being constructed is mostly through Iraqi companies."
The BP Iraq President says that for now Rumaila is the company's main priority in that country: " This is a giant field and worthy of our full attention. We are a long term partner of Iraq and although we have other activities in the country, and will always look for other opportunities, the Rumaila field rightly deserves our foremost focus," says Michael Townshend.
High-level speakers at Iraq Future Energy 2010 include:
His Excellency Thamir Al Ghadhban, Chairman, Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Former Oil Minister Michael Townshend, President Iraq, BP Dr Abdul Hadi Al Hassani, Vice Chairman, Oil and Gas Committee, Iraqi Parliament Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Executive Chairman, IBBC (Iraq Britain Business Council) Mounir Bouaziz, Vice President Commercial, New Business, LNG, Middle East and North Africa, Shell EP International