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October saw the highest levels of activity on the Rumaila oilfield in southern Iraq since the Technical Service Agreement was signed in 2009 and BP...

Southern Iraq’s Rumaila field kicks into high gear

October saw the highest levels of activity on the Rumaila oilfield in southern Iraq since the Technical Service Agreement was signed in 2009 and BP was appointed lead contractor, BP announced on 4 November. Activity has focused on improving oil production from existing wells, bringing new wells on stream and ensuring flowlines and other field infrastructure is tied in to support increased production.

In October, 20 drilling rigs were working on the field, including those operated under new contracts by Daqing, Weatherford and a consortium of Schlumberger and IDC. Seven of these rigs were drilling into the main pay of the reservoir, and 13 were workover rigs installing electrical submersible pumps (ESPs).

Some 1,400 Iraqis and 300 expatriate staff were working on this drilling program alone, in addition to a total of 4,000 staff in the Rumaila Operating Organisation. Training courses have been run by Baker Hughes, Al Khorayef and Jinan in Iraq on ESP installation, and some 20 Iraqis are undertaking an advanced well control course in Turkey as part of the Weatherford contract.

Current production from the field is around one million barrels of oil a day. Activity is focused on meeting the improved production target as specified in the contract.

“We are setting an extraordinary pace,” said Rumaila general manager Salah Mohammed. “Not only are we increasing production, but we are also building a great new team, introducing better reporting of safety and environmental incidents, and taking actions to begin to improve safety in particular.”

Approximately 4,000 Iraqis have been working for the Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO) since July, and financial, contracting and other processes are being transferred from SOC (South Oil Co) to ROO.

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