Iraq 4th Bidding Round: New Opportunities for IOCs

Thursday, May 12 2011 by
Iraq 4th Bidding Round New Opportunities for IOCs

Iraq is one of the few countries where a high volume of reserves remains yet resources have vastly been under exploited. Although Iraq ranks highly as an oil producer, major fields are yet to reach their expected peak production rates and only a few fields are in development.  In early 2011, the Iraq Oil Ministry announced a fourth licensing round. Included in the round are twelve licenses that were not previously on offer in the provinces of Najaf, Karbala, Samawa, Diwaniya and Anbar. The fourth license round is on track with the ministry’s plan to pursue unexploited reserves. Development of infrastructure will be needed in order for Iraq to achieve a target production capacity of almost 12 million b/d by 2017. 

The Iraq oil industry has of course been heavily hit by U.S sanctions, war and weak infrastructure. At the end of 2010, the United States voted to lift sanctions against Iraq opening the country up to foreign investment. The last few years have seen the Iraq Oil Ministry pursue an ambitious development program to develop fields and increase production. There have been three license rounds in Iraq since 2008 and twelve contracts were signed with International Companies (IOCs). A two phased development is being pursued in which current producing fields are being developed to maximize their potential, followed by the development of non-producing fields. 


Terms of the contracts on offer by the Iraq Oil Ministry are by no means favourable (service contracts in which companies earn a fee for each barrel of oil produced) but the appeal of high prospective reserves has so far held the interest of IOCs. The first phase to boost current production sees the involvement of various IOCs in three major fields. The table below shows a list of the fields awarded in June 2009, ownership, remaining reserves, current production, and the 2017 expected crude production capacity. 

Asset Name Operator Asset Ownership Reserves Crude/NGL - Remaining (mln bbls) -   Crude Oil Production (000 b/d) -   Estimated Capacity - Crude/NGL (000 b/d) -  
2009 2010 2017

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5 Comments on this Article show/hide all

lowersharpnose 13th May '11 1 of 5

Where did you get 10.8 Bbbls for Shaikan?

Gulf Keystone used a P10 figure of 10.8 B bbls for Oil In Place at Shaikan in their last relevant RNS.

Did you use this figure by mistake or are we due some monster news?




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EvaluateEnergy 16th May '11 2 of 5

The figure in the table was meant to have a cell note attached which did not appear on the blog. The figure pulled by the analyst was the updated P10 oil-in-place value as stated in an April 14 press release ( As you mentioned the field is in early stages of appraisal so we have put in the resource estimate as an indication of where reserves could stand when a full reserves evaluation is complete. I have updated our blog to show a value of 4900 mln bbl which is the estimated P90 value as stated in the press release with an explanation of the resources estimates.

Company: Evaluate Energy
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lowersharpnose 16th May '11 3 of 5

Again, the 4.9 Bbbls is a P90 Oil In Place, not reserves (which is the column heading in your table)..

Presumably you are counting on a lot more oil being found at Shaikan.

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ManSiarad 16th May '11 4 of 5

I must confess that it seems rather odd to me that an article on 'New opportunities for IOCs' in Iraq doesn't mention Kurdistan once (apart from saying that the 'KRG' has a stake in one field.

Nor is there any mention of the difficulties arising out of the dispute between Baghdad/Ministry of Oil and the KRG on validity of contracts signed by the KRG.

Or a complete list of agreements in Kurdistan. The Dana Gas consortium is producing (gas), of course.

Since the focus is on the new licencing round (in iraq excluding Kurdistan), why include GKP and DNO, anyway?

All a bit of a muddle, IMO

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abbey8 30th Oct '11 5 of 5

In reply to post #56575

Iraq is a target for a bright future to the oil companies , but NOT north of iraq , risky in term of permission from central iraqi goverment.

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Evaluate Energy is a provider of up to date and accurate oil and gas analysis for industry professionals. 

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