Iraqi oil industry

An Expert's View about Trade Policy and Regulations in Iraq

Last updated: 24 Mar 2011

The report includes basic figures on reserves, production, exports, distribution, prices, and refining; detailed information on oil contracts; and as assessment of investment risks.

+ Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry Prepared by Carolyn Amon, IAS Group March 2011 + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 2 Basic figures Iraq has vast and relatively undeveloped oil resources, spread over 66 oil fields, including nine ?super-giant? fields. It has the highest reserve life (proven reserves/annual production) of all conventional oil producers. Iraq also has a large southwestern desert territory that has not yet been fully explored and is estimated to contain up to 100 billion barrels of additional oil reserves. Iraq?s national oil companies have been recovering reserves at a rate of 25-31%, but the rate is increasing with the participation of international oil companies (IOCs), which are expected to bring the rate up to 80%. The IOCs are the key piece to the Iraqi government?s goal of quintupling production by 2017. Oil production decreased from 2.42 million bpd in 2008, to 2.39 million bpd in 2009, but Iraq?s rank increased from 14th th to 12 . Meanwhile, exports increased by 10,000 bpd, moving Iraq up by one rank. Oil Proven Reserves: 115 billion barrels (rank: 4, after Saudi Arabia, Canada and Iran) Oil Production: 2.39 million bpd (rank: 14, after Venezuela) Oil Exports: 1.91 million bpd (rank: 11, after Canada) Source: CIA Factbook: figures are estimates from 2009 Preliminary figures for 2010 and 2011 show a rise across all of these metrics: ? In October 2010, the Iraqi government announced a 25% increase in proven reserves, to 143 billion barrels, overtaking Iran. This figure does not include Kurdish oil reserves, which Kurdistan?s regional government estimates to total 45 billion barrels. ? Production in January 2011 reached its highest level since 1990, peaking at 2.66 million bpd. ? Exports also reached a record high in February 2011, climbing to 2.2 million bpd as exports from Iraq?s Kurdish region restarted. On February 3, Iraq?s central government and Kurdish authorities reached a temporary agreement over revenue sharing between the central and provincial governments, and oil companies. After a year off the market, Kurdish exports have resumed at 75,000 bpd, and are expected to rise to 100,000 bpd in March. Distribution Iraq?s oil resources are concentrated in the southeastern part of the country (80%). The Basrah blend produced in * this area is exported from the Al-Basrah Oil Terminal (1.5 million bpd effective capacity) and the neighboring Khora al-Amaya Terminal (300,000 bpd effective capacity). Iraq?s second blend ? Kirkuk ? is exported along the Ceyhan/Botas pipeline through Turkey (1.1 million bpd effective capacity, of which half is used) or via tanker trucks to Jordan (10,000 bpd). In September 2010, Iraq and Turkey agreed to a 15-year extension of their pipeline arrangement and committed to upgrade capacity by 1 million bpd within this timeframe. Iraq?s third Syria-Lebanon pipeline has been closed since 2003 due to disrepair; a fourth Saudi Arabian pipeline was closed in 1991 and expropriated by the Saudis in 2001. Iraq also has an internal strategic pipeline between Haditha, Rumaila and Basra (200,000 bpd effective capacity), allowing for the transportation of Kirkuk oil to the South for export, or vice versa (Basrah oil to the northern Ceyahan-Botas pipeline). * Formerly Mina al-Bakr + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 3 Quality Both the Basrah and Kirkuk are high-grade oils ? light and with average sulphur content. They are most similar to the Arab Light grade from Saudi Arabia. The Kirkuk variety is slightly lighter (35.8 API) and sweeter (2.06% sulphur) 1 than the Basrah (34.4 API and 2.10% sulphur) . Basrah crude, which accounts for 80% of Iraqi oil exports, sells for around 2.7% less than Kirkuk crude. Export Prices (2009-2011 per barrel in $) 100 90 80 70 60 50 Iraq 40 World 30 20 10 0 Sources: Iraqi Ministry of Oil and EIA Refining Iraq has four refineries spread throughout its territory: Baji, which accounts for almost half of total capacity, Basrah, Daura, and the newly built Erbil. In addition, Iraq has seven small distillation units. The refineries? total capacity of around 700,000 bpd is theoretically more than enough to supply local demand. However, the refineries are only operating at 40-60% of capacity; the refineries use simple hydro-skimming technology (around 2 on the Nelson complexity index) and are inefficient and/or partially damaged. Furthermore, they do not produce enough gasoline 2 and gasoil, relative to other oil products. As a result, Iraq imports 30% of the former and 17% of the latter. The State Oil Marketing Company has awarded contracts to three foreign companies to supply 880,000 metric tons of gasoline 3 and 230,000 tons of gasoil for the first semester of 2011. 1 Energy Intelligence 2 EIA 3 Bloomberg + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 4 Map of Iraqi Oil resources and pipelines Source : EIA + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 5 Oil Contracts State Companies Iraq?s former national oil company was not restored as a whole, but brought back in the form of three oil companies operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Oil: the North Oil Company (NOC), South Oil Company (SOC) and Misan Oil Company (MOC). All Iraq?s oil-related infrastructure is state-owned and operated by companies that are part of the Ministry of Oil, including the Oil Project Company (SCOP), Oil Exploration Company (OEC), Oil Tanker Company (IOTC), Oil Pipelines Company (PLC), Oil Marketing Company (SOMO), Oil Products Distribution Company (OPDC), Iraqi Drilling Company (IDC), North Refineries Company (NRC), Midland Refineries Company (MRC), and South Refineries Company (SRC). International Oil Companies Iraq has sought to involve a broad range of IOCs in the development of its oil fields, while maintaining a 25% share for its state companies in each project. Iraq launched two licensing rounds in 2009 to award oil contracts to IOCs. The first one took place on June 29-30 with the participation of 32 IOCs (about a fourth of the 120 companies that applied to bid). It only yielded one deal ? for the supergiant Rumaila field near Basra ? out of eight tendered licenses. The second round on December 11-12 included 45 participants and was more productive, yielding 7 deals ? for the supergiant Halfaya, Majnoon, and West Qurna 2 fields, and the Badra, Gharraf, Najmah, and Qaiyarah fields ? out of 10 tendered licenses. Three of the remaining concessions from the first round ? for the supergiant West Qurna 1 and Zubair fields, and the Missan fields (Fakka, Buzurgan, and Abu Ghrab) ? were eventually awarded outside of the rounds. A third round was launched in October 2010 to award gas contracts, yielding three concessions. Prior to the three hydrocarbon auctions, post-Saddam Hussein Iraq had only awarded one contract, to CNPC for the development of the Ahdab field; a different contract for Ahdab had already been awarded to China in 1997, but was then suspended when UN sanctions came into effect. The Iraqi government has announced plans for a fourth licensing round in the last quarter of 2011 that would include 12 oil and gas concessions. In the interim, it is also considering a bidding round for the giant Nassariyah oil field that would be coupled with a requirement to build a 300,000 bpd refinery nearby; the field had garnered an unsuccessful bid in 2009 from a consortium led by JX Nippon Oil & Energy. All of the deals concluded under the aegis of Iraq?s central government are 20-year service contracts. This is in contrast to Kurdistan?s production-sharing agreements, which are more lucrative for IOCs; a company?s share of profit oil varies according to the area?s risk assessment ? low, medium, or high. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) granted two major oil concessions to IOCs before the central government initiated its licensing rounds: Tawke in 2004 (the first involvement of an IOC in Iraq since the 1970s) and Taq Taq in 2007. Kurdistan has since licensed thirty-five additional oil concessions, of which eight yielded major oil reserve discoveries in 2009 and 2010. In each case, the KRG has maintained a 20-25% share option. The central government has not approved any deals signed between Kurdish authorities and 40 foreign companies operating in Kurdistan, and has furthermore barred the latter from partaking in its oil licensing rounds. The following table lists all of the energy companies that have bid for central government-issued oil contracts in the first column. The following three columns indicate whether they qualified for the first or second licensing rounds and made winning bids, and whether they secured deals outside of the licensing rounds or inside Kurdistan. + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 6 st nd Energy Company 1 Round Qualified 2 Round Qualified Other Addax (CA) No No Yes Kurdistan now Sinopec (CN) Anadarko (US) Yes withdrew Yes BG Group (UK) Yes withdrew Yes BHP Billiton (AU) Yes Yes BP (UK) Yes 1 winning joint bid Yes Cairn Energy (IE) No Yes Calibre (US) No No temporarily Yes Kurdistan Chevron (US) Yes Yes CNOOC (CN) Yes Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid CNPC (CN) Yes 1 winning joint bid Yes 1 winning joint bid Yes 1 winning joint bid ConocoPhillips (US) Yes Yes DNO (NO) No No Yes Kurdistan Edison (IT) Yes Yes Eni (IT) Yes Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid ExxonMobil (US) Yes Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Gazprom (RU) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Heritage (CA) No No Yes Kurdistan Hess (US) Yes Yes Inpex (JP) Yes Yes Japex (JP) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid JOGMNC (JP) No Yes KazMunaiGas (KZ) No Yes Kogas (KR) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Yes 1 winning joint bid Lukoil (RU) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Maersk (DK) Yes Yes Marathon Oil (US) Yes Yes Mitsubishi (JP) Yes Yes Mitsui Oil (JP) No Yes Nexen (CA) Yes Yes Nippon Oil (JP) Yes Yes TatNeft (RU) No Yes Occidental (US) Yes Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Oil India (IN) No Yes OMV (AT) No No Yes Kurdistan ONGC (IN) Yes Yes Pakistan Petro (PK) No Yes PT Pertamina (ID) Yes Yes Perenco (FR) No No Yes Kurdistan Petrovietnam (VN) No Yes + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 7 Energy Company 1st Round Qualified 2nd Round Qualified Other Petronas (MY) Yes Yes 4 winning joint bids Premier Oil (UK) Yes No Reliance (IN) No No Yes Kurdistan Repsol (ES) Yes Yes Rosneft (RU) No Yes SK Energy (KR) No No Yes Kurdistan Shell (NL) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Yes 1 winning joint bid Sinochem (CN) Yes Yes Sinopec (CN) Yes Yes, then barred (Addax) Yes (via Addax) Kurdistan Sonangol (AO) No Yes 2 winning bids StatoilHydro (NO) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid Total (FR) Yes Yes 1 winning joint bid TPAO (TR) No Yes 1 winning joint bid Yes 1 winning joint bid Wintershall (DE) Yes withdrew Yes Woodside (AU) Yes Yes Sources: Energy Business Review, MarketWatch, Reuters This table shows that Chinese companies were the biggest winners in the Iraqi oil field licensing process, securing shares in four official concessions. Taking Sinopec?s Kurdish contract into account, all four Chinese companies that * bid in Iraq were granted a concession , with CNPC winning a record three joint bids. Deutsche Bank estimates that 4 CNPC has, by far, the highest net present value of any oil company in Iraq (close to $3 billion) . Meanwhile, of the eight US companies that attempted to bid in one or both rounds, only two were awarded official contracts. ExxonMobil is the only major American oil company with a share. In contrast ? and despite US State Department objections to deals with the KRG absent a national oil law ? the US has the numerically strongest foothold in Kurdistan, with seven companies holding shares in nine concessions. The IOCs with licenses to Iraq?s brownfield supergiant fields ? Rumaila, West Qurna 1, and Zubair - all reached their initial output targets in the first quarter of 2011 (by increasing production by 10% and sustaining the increase for thirty days). This means that they now qualify to be reimbursed for their development costs, and to be paid remuneration fees. The Iraqi central government also recently announced that these oil concessions are to benefit from the first phase of a $15 billion water injection plan to enhance oil recovery; the initial phase involves supplying the fields with 2 million barrels of water per day. The following two maps provide additional details on the companies, fields, and terms of Iraq?s twelve official IOC contracts, and of the Kurdish Regional Government?s contracts. * Sinochem jointly won the bid with CNOOC for the Missan fields, but then chose to withdraw after CNOOC accepted a lower remuneration fee 4 Deutsche Bank Global Markets Research on Iraq (10/04/10) + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 8 Iraq?s 12 Official IOC Contracts Sources: Iraqi Oil Report, Petroleum Economist, Energy Intelligence, Deutsche Bank, Global Data & company websites + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 9 IOC Contracts with the Kurdish Regional Government Oil Field/Concession Energy Company Share Notes PRODUCTION PHASE Taq Taq K24A TTOPCO* 80% Producing 35,000 bpd - Genel (TR) 44% TTOPCO is a joint venture - Sinopec (via Addax) (CN) 45% between Genel & Sinopec Tawke K1 DNO* (NO) 55% Producing 50,000 bpd Genel (TR) 25% DISCOVERY PHASE Akri-Bijeel K13 MOL* (via Kalegran) (HU) 80% 2.4 BB proven oil in place GKPI (UK) 20% Medium risk concession Bazian K26 KNOC Consortium (KR) 80% 1.27 BB barrels estimated - KNOC* 50.5% reserves - UI Energy - SK Energy - Daesung - Samchully - Bum-Ah - GS Holdings - Majuko Low risk concession K15 Komet* (Ascom Group) (MD) 80% Kalar-Bawanoor K35 WesternZagros* (CA) 40% 260 MB estimated reserves Talisman (CA) 40% Miran K25 Heritage* (UK) 75% 744 MB estimated reserves Genel (TK) 25% Low-medium risk concession Rovi & Sarta K14 Reliance* (IN) 80% 1 BB estimated reserves OMV (AT) 20% Low risk concession Shaikan K11 GKPI* (UK) 75% 31,000 bpd proven capacity MOL (via Kalegran) (HU) 2 0% Texas Keystone (US) 5% Low risk concession EXPLORATION PHASE Ain Sifni K12 Hunt* (US) 60% IEC* (US) 20% Arbat K31 Shamaran* (CA) 60% Atrush K10 GEP* 80% General Exploration Partners - Aspect (US) 66.5% (GEP) is a joint venture - Shamaran (CA) 33.5% between Aspect & Shamaran Marathon (US) 20% Low risk concession Baranan K32 Talisman* (CA) 60% Ber Bahr K6 Genel* (TR) 40% GKPI (UK) 40% Low risk concession Bina Bawi K20 OMV* (AT) 36% Calibre Energy (US) failed to Petoil (TR) 23% raise enough in a flotation to Prime (US) 21% remain involved + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 10 Chia Surkh K37 Longford* (CA) 40% The previous operator was Genel (TR) 20% Forbes and Manhattan (CA) Petoil (TR) 20% Duhok K8 DNO* (NO) 40% Genel (TR) 40% Medium risk concession Duhok ? Central K2 Murphy* (US) 50% Duhok ? Southern K9 Komet* (Ascom Group) (MD) 80% Erbil K16 DNO* (NO) 40% GasPlus is a joint venture GasPlus 40% between Dogan and New Age, - Dogan (TR) 50% which is a joint venture - New Age 50% between Range Oil and Black - Range Oil (CA) 49.9% Gold (a subsidiary of Al - Black Gold (AE) 50.1% Zarooni) Harir K18 Marathon* (US) Hawler K17 Norbest* (TKN-BP) (RU) 85% KNOC (KR) 15% Low-medium risk concession K28 Talisman* (CA) 60% K 29 Oil Search* (PG) 60% Shamaran was previously Shamaran (CA) 40% known as Bayou Bend Kew Chirmila K24B TTOPCO* 80% TTOPCO is a joint venture - Genel (TR) 44% between Genel & Sinopec - Sinopec (via Addax) (CN) 45% Khalakan K23 GasPlus* 80% GasPlus is a joint venture - Dogan (TR) 50% between Dogan and New Age, - New Age 50% which is a joint venture - Range Oil (CA) 49.9% between Range Oil and Black - Black Gold (AE) 50.1% Gold (a subsidiary of Al Zarooni) Mala Omar & Shorish K21 OMV* (AT) 80% Low-medium risk concession Pulkhana K30 Shamaran* (CA) 60% Petoil (TR) 20% Qara Dagh K33 Niko* (CA) 37% Vast (CA) 37% Vast is a subsidiary of Forbes Groundstar (CA) 6% and Manhattan Group (CA) Qush Tappa K22 KNOC* (KR) 60% Safen K19 Marathon* (US) 80% Sangaw North K27 Sterling* (UK) 53.33% Sinopec (CN) 26.67% KNOC (KR) 20% Low risk concession Sangaw South K34 KNOC* (KR) 60% Low risk concession Sarsang K5 HKN* (Hillwood Energy) (US) 56.25% Marathon (US) 18.75% Medium risk concession Shakal K36 Prime* (US) 45% Oil Search (PG) 18.75% Petoil (TR) 1 1 .25% Low risk concession Sheikh Adi K7 GKPI* (UK) 80% Low risk concession Sindi-Amedi K4 Perenco* (FR/UK) 80% High risk concession * Denotes operator Sources: Kurdistan Regional Government press releases, Arabian Oil & Gas, company websites + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 11 + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 12 Investment Risks Infrastructure deficiencies Iraq?s roads, pipelines, terminals, and other oil-related infrastructure are in a parlous state. The Al-Basrah Terminal (ABOT), which handles 80% of Iraqi oil exports, was designed to load 4 million barrels per day through its fourth berths: two berths for the largest tankers available ? Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) with an up to 400,000 DWT capacity ? and two for Large Range 2 tankers (85,000 DWT). The Iraqi government awarded large reconstruction projects in 2004 to boost ABOT?s capacity from 1.2 million bpd to its pre-war 3 million bpd. However, according to a 2007 Office of the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction report, the pipelines feeding into ABOT are so dilapidated that despite the upgrades only 2 berths can now simultaneously load, yielding a maximum capacity of 1.6 million bpd (of which 1.4 million bpd is currently used). Thus, a ULCC tanker takes up to 96 hours to fully load. The Iraqi central government had initially announced plans to increase capacity to 8 million bpd by 2011 through massive investment in new pipelines and terminals, but has only reached a quarter of this objective to date. The government has revised its target to tripling export capacity to 6.6 million bpd. Meanwhile, its official production target is to reach 12.5 million bpd by 2017. These goals would be ambitious ones for any developed country to achieve, let alone Iraq with its general infrastructural, water (for enhanced oil recovery) and skilled manpower shortcomings. Industry sources and analysts estimate that the country will achieve around a third of this goal, and the International Energy Agency estimates it will take Iraq until 2020 to achieve even this fraction. IOCs will have to plan and budget on meeting most of their logistical needs themselves. This has included, first of all, de-mining their contracted oil fields; Iraq?s estimated 25 million landmines are clustered around the country?s oil and gas resources. Contractual uncertainty The legal standing of IOC contracts is precarious. Iraq?s central government has driven a tough bargain with IOCs to secure its primary source of revenue ? the government depends on oil export revenues for 90% of its budget ? and garner public support for the licensing rounds. However, Iraqi political parties have still not reached the consensus necessary to pass a national oil law. By the time that many of the IOCs? oil fields become commercially viable (as late as 2017 according to Oxford Analytica) Iraq will have cycled through several administrations; some opposition factions have filed lawsuits challenging the IOC contracts, and have claimed they will not honor the current administration?s oil deals if they come to power. IOCs that signed deals with the Kurdish Regional Government have already been hamstrung by political vicissitude. The companies will not be authorized to participate in any national licensing bids until the central government and Kurdish region have reached a revenue-sharing agreement. Although the Iraqi government has allowed oil exports from Kurdish fields since February 2011, it has not yet reached agreement with the KRG over how the foreign companies will be paid. The central government has signaled that it may recognize KRG deals with IOCs, but only if they are redrafted according to its guidelines. Political instability Iraq joined in the wave of protests convulsing the Arab world in 2011. Tens of thousands of Iraqis across ten cities took to the streets at the end of February in a ?day of rage? over inadequate government services, corruption, and lack of jobs, echoing Iraqi demonstrations in the summer of 2010. Current Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who continues to maintain control of the army and policy, has shut down the offices of several opposition groups; Maliki is widely considered to be consolidating his grip on power. What these movements portend for Iraq?s fragile democracy is still unclear. + Energy Memo Iraqi Oil Industry 13 In another incident this month with important ramifications, insurgents bombed Iraq?s largest refinery, Baiji, shutting it down for two weeks and causing damage that will take months to repair. Another refinery?s pipeline was bombed a couple of weeks earlier. The Iraq Pipeline Watch counts 470 attacks on Iraq?s oil infrastructure from 2003 through March 2008, when the number of incidents started to markedly fall. The Baiji bombing is the worst attack on Iraq?s oil infrastructure since 2003. Notwithstanding the risks, given Iraq?s large and relatively untapped reserves of easy-access and high-grade oil, and the relatively higher political volatility overcoming some of the other oil-producing countries in the region, non- participation is not an option for most IOCS. For more information contact Carolyn Amon at 212 939 7529 and
Posted: 23 March 2011, last updated 24 March 2011
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