Korean firm to drill 20 oil wells in impoverished province in south

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By Basem al-Rikabi

Azzaman, January 2, 2014

A Korean firm is to drill 20 new oil wells at the Gharraf oil field which is currently being developed by Malaysia’s Petronas and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co Ltd, an oil ministry official in the Province of Dhi Qar said.

Kareem Yaser, who heads the provincial commission on oil development, said Petronas has contracted Korean CTC for the drilling in a bid to increase output from Gharraf.

“The Koreans will drill the wells and install a complete network for associated gas processing,” said Yaser.

“The wells and the network will go on stream by the end of 2014.”

Dhi Qar, of which the city of Nasiriya is the provincial capital, is keen to increase oil output from two major oil fields within its provincial borders with billions of barrels of proven reserves. The fields are Gharraf and Nasiriya.

The province says government allocations for reconstruction and development hardly cover 20 percent of total needs.

More oil production from these two fields means extra budgetary resources as Iraqi provinces are entitled to $2 for each barrel of oil they produce.

Yaser said output from Gharraf has soared to 70,000 barrels a day and that Nasiriya was churning 40,000 barrels daily.

“The drilling of the new wells coincides with the large-scale development of the oil fields of Nasiriya and Gharraf to boost daily oil production to 240,000 barrels a day,” he added.

Iraq has signed a series of service contracts with major oil companies such as Shell, BP, Exxon and Total to develop its oilfields, neglected for decades due to wars and sanctions.