The Rumaila Operating Organization (ROO), which is made up of BP, PetroChina and the South Oil Company of Iraq, announced that the Rumaila oilfield has produced 3 billion bbl of oil since the joint venture began operating in January 2010.
During the past six years, the oil produced from Rumaila has provided the Iraqi state with an estimated $200 billion in revenue.
Oil production at Rumaila is now at its highest rate in 27 years, producing more than 1.45 million bbl per day (bpd), up from 1 million in 2009.
The production increase was achieved despite challenging geological conditions and aging infrastructure and equipment within the 40-year-old field. Addressing these issues has seen the ROO partnership develop a performance-led culture, empowering the local Iraqi workforce to deploy new and more advanced technologies.
Iraq’s Minister of Oil, Jabar Ali al-Luaibi, commented: “Producing 3 billion bbl in such a short period of time is an impressive achievement. Rumaila is a crucial oil field, and we look to our international partners and Iraqi colleagues to continue to increase production from the field in the years to come.”
Bernard Looney, BP’s Chief Executive of Upstream, commented: “Achieving 3 billion bbl of oil in less than seven years is a fantastic achievement, especially when you consider the challenges the oil and gas industry has faced globally during the past two years. Despite this challenging environment the BP team, working shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues at PetroChina and SOC, safely delivered increased production and important oil revenues for Iraq.”
Under ROO’s management, the number of producing wells at Rumaila has risen by about 50%, with more than 240 new wells drilled and an ongoing well workover program implemented to counter the natural rate of decline of the mature field. Cutting edge technologies such as “real-time” well logs, advanced core sample analysis and 3D subsurface maps have improved well performance, drilling accuracy and efficiency.
In addition to the active drilling program, one of the world’s largest water injection projects was completed to boost output in areas where reservoir pressure had fallen after half a century of production. Between March 2013 and October 2016, water injection increased from 60,000 to 900,000 bpd following renovation of the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant, five pumping stations and associated pipelines.
The refurbishment of other facilities also continues across the field. Rumaila’s degassing stations now treat around 1.8 million bpd of oil and produced water – volumes of fluids not seen since 1979. Investment in new oil, gas and water separation units, dehydrators and desalters, and produced water disposal units are proving vital in helping to sustain facilities, many of which date back to the 1970s.
In tandem with production achievements, safety performance at Rumaila has been significantly improved. Compulsory personal protective equipment standards, control of work safety procedures, 24-hour ambulance service and four new fully-equipped medical clinics have all been established. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of hours of safety training have also been undertaken to significantly reduce accidents and to provide a world-class emergency response in the event of any safety-related incidents.