Jul 23 2012
By Majid al-Baldawi
Azzaman, July 23, 2012
The southern Province of Missan, among the most impoverished in Iraq’s 18 provinces, is to produce half a million barrels of oil in three years, said Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani.
The remarks by Shahristani, who oversees the country’s energy sector, were made as he inaugurated the first stage of Halfaya oil field, the province’s largest in proven oil reserves.
Halfaya, currently churning out 200,000 barrels a day, is a gigantic field with reserves estimated at more than 15 billion barrels. Three foreign majors – PetroChina with partners Total SA and Petronas Calgari – are involved in its development.
The field is scheduled to produce half a million barrels by the end of 2015, said Shahristani.
The province’s massive oil reserves have prompted the Ministry of Oil to set up a new state-run company, Missan Oil Company, which is supervising the development of Halfaya and other major fields like Bazerkan, Fakka and Noor and Amara.
The Province of Missan, of which the city of Amara is the capital, is on its way to turn into a major oil center not within the context of Iraq but the world at large, said Ali Muaarij, the head of Missan Oil Company.
Muaarij spoke of negotiations underway for the construction of a new petrochemical plant in the province, which he said would turn Iraq into a major player in the international trade of petro-chemical industries and their products.
Other schemes include the building a new refinery and installations for assembling associated gas to drive the province’s power plants.
As an oil-producing province, Missan is entitled to $2 for each barrel of oil produced or refined within its administrative borders.
Oil-producing provinces are better placed than others in terms of financing due to the so-called petro-dollar project which gives them the right to earn up to $2 for each barrel of oil they produce.
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