By John Lee.

Investment by Russian oil and gas companies in Iraq may increase three-fold, according to a report by Tass.

It quotes Russian politician Yury Fedorov [Nikolay Vasilyevich Fyodorov] as telling the Iraqi Ambassador to Russia, Abdul-Rahman Al-Husseini, that the total investment in Iraq by companies such as Lukoil, Bashneft and Gazprom Neft has exceeded $10 billion, and that this could triple.

Our companies such as Zarubezhneft, Tatneft and Rosneftegaz also show a high degree of interest,” he added.

(Source: Tass)

By John Lee.

Indian-based Asian Oilfield Services Limited has announced that it has won orders totalling $37 million in Iraq.

The orders relate to seismic acquisition at Block 12, with $12 million for a 2D survey and $25 million for a 3D survey.

Block 12, located in the Najaf and Muthanna provinces, is being developed by Russia’s Rosneft, and PetroVietnam.

According to a statement issued to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the order is to be executed within FY20 and FY21.

The company has previously carried out 3D surveys at the Shakal block and Taza block in Iraqi Kurdistan.

(Source: Asian Oilfield Services)

By John Lee.

Bashneft, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosneft, has found oil at its Salman-1 exploratory well at Block 12 in Iraq.

In a statement, the company said that an exploration well was successfully drilled to depth 4,277 metres; oil was found, “which gives grounds for expecting the discovery of industrial reserves“.

Rosneft said it views this discovery as an important milestone in the development of exploration and production projects abroad.

China-based company Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group (ZPEC) was previously announced as the general drilling contractor.

(Source: Rosneft)

By John Lee.

Premier Oil has announced that it has “successfully exited” its position in Iraq.

The company was awarded a 40-percent stake in the Block 12 concession in 2012, but said in December 2015 that it would assign its participating interest to the operator, Russia’s Bashneft, which was subsequently acquired by Rosneft.

(Source: Premier Oil)

Russia’s Bashneft has completed field seismic surveys at Block 12 as part of the geological exploration programme approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil.

The Oil Exploration Company, an Iraqi company specializing in geological and geophysical exploration, which won the open tender in the spring of 2014, has been employed as a contractor to conduct seismic surveys at Block 12; during the six months, the company performed 3D seismic surveys covering an area of 849 sq. km and 2D seismic surveys along two lines with a total length of 192 linear kilometres.

Currently, seismic data processing and interpretation is underway; the data will serve as a basis for seismic and geological modelling aimed at identifying formations that are potentially oil- and gas-bearing. The start of exploration drilling at Block 12 has been scheduled for late 2016.

The five-year geological exploration programme at Block 12, which may be extended for two years, involves conducting 2D and 3D seismic surveys and drilling one exploration well. Investments in the geological exploration programme to be made during the five-year period are to total US$ 120 million.

Under the service contract, before the start of seismic surveys, Bashneft had conducted an environmental impact assessment and a survey of the site designated for seismic exploration in order to detect unexploded mines and shells. Given that operations in Iraq entail considerable risk, the Company gives priority to ensuring the safety of its employees and contractors working at Block 12.

Block 12 has an area of 7.68 thousand sq. km and forms part of the Western Desert, an unexplored region having the greatest oil potential in Iraq. The Block is located in the Najaf and Muthanna provinces, approximately 80 kilometres to the south-west of the city of Samawa and 130 kilometres to the west of the city of Nasriya.

Bashneft gained the right to operate hydrocarbon exploration, development and production at Block 12 following a licensing round in June 2012.

To implement the project, a consortium was established, with Bashneft being represented by its wholly owned subsidiary, Bashneft International B.v. , which owns a 70% stake in the consortium and acts as the operator of the project.

Bashneft’s partner in the consortium, Premier Oil, is represented by its subsidiary, Premier Oil Exploration and Production (Iraq) Ltd., holding a 30% stake.

On November 8, 2012, the consortium signed a 25-year exploration, development and production service contract (EDPSC) with the Iraqi state-owned South Oil Company; the contract may be renewed for five years.

(Source: Bashneft)