Lukoil and Inpex Corporation have successfully completed testing of the fifth well as part of the appraisal phase at the Eridu field (Block 10) in the southern part of Iraq.

The well recorded daily flow rate of more than 1,500 cubic meters of oil from the Mishrif formation and proved the current geological model of the Eridu field as effective.

Lukoil continues geological exploration at Block 10. For instance, in the mid-term the Company plans to drill and test several appraisal wells, complete 3D seismic surveys at the Eridu field and 2D seismic surveys at the block’s southern and central parts.

(Source: Lukoil)

Russia’s Lukoil has successfully completed testing of the fourth well as part of Eridu field (Block 10) appraisal phase in the south of Iraq.

The testing resulted in the commercial flow of dry crude oil that proves the current geological model of Eridu field as effective. ​

Lukoil continues geological exploration at Block 10. For instance, the company plans to drill and test several appraisal wells and to complete 3D and 2D seismic surveys for Eridu field and the block’s southern and central parts, respectively.

Block 10, covering 5.8 thousand square kilometers, is located 150 kilometers west of Basra, 120 kilometers away from West Qurna-2 field.

Interests in the project: Lukoil – 60% (operator), Inpex Corporation (Japan) – 40%. The Iraqi party to the agreement is represented by the state-owned Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC).

(Source: Lukoil)

Russia’s Lukoil has signed contracts with the state-owned Iraqi Oil Exploration Company to carry out seismic surveys at the Eridu field in Block 10, and also at Block 10’s southern and central parts, previously not part of the survey.

The scope of appraisal works at Eridu field includes a 3D seismic survey of 983 square kilometers to update the extension of the field and its geological structure.

At Block 10, 2D seismic acquisition of the southern and central parts is planned to be accomplished over an area of 3,500 linear kilometers to ensure the mapping of targets for prospect drilling.

The approved geological exploration plan for Eridu field envisages the drilling of additional appraisal wells on a mid-term horizon.​

Block 10, covering 5,600 square kilometers, is located in the governorates of Dhi Qar and Muthanna, 120 kilometers west of Basra. The interests in the project are: Lukoil – 60% (operator), Inpex Corporation (Japan) – 40%.

The Iraqi party to the agreement is represented by the state-owned South Oil Company (SOC).

The drilling of the first exploration well, Eridu-1, in February of 2017 led to the discovery of a major oilfield. Preliminary data indicate it is the most significant discovery in Iraq for the past 20 years.

The drilling of the second and third wells confirmed the field’s earlier assumed geological model.Block 10, covering 5,600 square kilometers, is located in the governorates of Dhi Qar and Muthanna, 120 kilometers west of Basra.

(Source: Lukoil)

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has said an agreement will soon be signed with Iran to jointly invest in two oil fields shared between the two countries.

Last month, Iraq’s Ambassador to Tehran, Rajih al-Mussawi, said his country was considering a plan to cooperate with Iran to develop the Azadegan oil field which the two sides share.

According ot PressTV, Iran discovered the Azadegan field in 1999 in what was the country’s biggest oil find in decades.  It is believed to be connected with Iraq’s supergiant Majnoon oil field.

Japan’s Inpex was contracted to develop the Azadegan project, but later quit in an apparent reaction to US sanctions against Iran.

Shell is reportedly trying to quit the Majnoon project, but has also submitted its technical study plan to Iranian authorities to develop the Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields.

(Source: PressTV)

By John Lee.

Russia’s Lukoil and Japan’s Inpex have successfully completed the testing of the first exploratory well, Eridu 1, at Block 10 in Basra governorate.

The well recorded a daily flow rate of more than 1,000 cubic meters of sweet oil from Mishrif horizon, confirming geological expectations of a large hydrocarbon field presence within the Block 10 contract area.

Geological exploration at the block is in progress: work program for 2017 includes the drilling and testing of an appraisal well Eridu 2.

Lukoil has a 60-percent stake in Block 10, with Inpex owning 40 percent.

(Sources: Lukoil, Inpex, Ministry of Oil)

(Picture: Seismic study at Block 10)

By John Lee.

The Ministry of Oil is to postpone a bidding round for 12 small- and medium-sized oil fields, following criticism of the plans by experts including IBN Expert Blogger Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

In a statement, the Ministry’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) said:

Following to the previous Ministry of Oil Announcement dated 23rd October 2016 concerning its intention to lunch a Project for the development and production for number of medium and small oil fields that exist in governorate of Basra, Missan and Middle of Iraq. 

“Ministry of Oil announces that there are essential changes in the previous announcement, where some of the fields mentioned in the said announcement will be developed by the national efforts of Ministry of Oil, in addition to new fields will be added to this Project.

“Therefore, Ministry of Oil will iterate its announcement of this Project by mid-2017.

Ahmed Mousa Jiyad welcomed the announcement, commenting:

“For the time being this is a step in the right direction and the Ministry deserves all supportive efforts to remain on and pursue the right direction”.

A more detailed statement from Mr Jiyad can be read here.

The ministry had pre-qualified 19 international bidders to develop the fields.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Ministry of Oil should withdraw its plan to offer 12 new oilfields.

In a rather surprise move, the Ministry of Oil (MoO) announced its “intention” to offer 12 medium and small oilfields to IOCs for development and production.

The most alarming and absurd components of the announcement are the contractual modality and the process of awarding and contracting.

Considering the danger and implications of the announcement I call upon the Ministry of Oil to withdraw this announcement immediately and focus instead on properly manage and monitor what has been contracted already. Otherwise, the Iraqi upstream petroleum could suffer from devastating consequences at a time when the country is liberating its provinces, especially Mousil from Da’esh.

The offered fields are Sindebad, Um-Qaser, Rachi and Abu-Khema (in Basra Governorate); Kumait, Noor, Umara, Dema and Dujaila (in Missan Province); and Merjan, Kifl and West Kifl-all known as Mid-Euphrates (in Middle Iraq).  MoO announcement provides further information which will be addressed in this commentary.

At the outset, this is not a new move at all. After completing the fourth bid rounds, the MoO has at least formally announced three times its intention for new offering. The first was during the former Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi, who in March 2013 announced a fifth bid round comprising “10 oilfields”, then in October he postponed that round to “next year”.

The second was related to the well-known Nassiriya Integrated Project-NIP, which combines the development of Nassiriya oilfields with a 300kbd modern refinery. Though NIP attracted good number of reputable IOCs, the project was put on shelves and related bid round was postponed indefinitely in June 2014. Recently, MoO offered Nassiriya Refinery for private investors, thus NIP is dead!

The third is related to linking Ratawi and Bin-Umar oilfields (in Basra) to funding the water-injection Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP) reportedly negotiated with ExxonMobil and PetroChina (CNPC). Since January this year no further information is publically available on earmarking the two oilfields to CSSP.

The current Minister of Oil made many pledges when he took office among them two of particular relevance to this topic: first, he emphasized the “national efforts” in upstream petroleum development and second, decision will be based on “solid and thorough studies and assessment”. The recent announcement by the Ministry is diametrically opposing to what the Minster has recently pledged.

By offering these 12 oilfields to IOCs “whether as independent (individual) company or as consortium of companies” in addition to what was contracted under the previous four bid rounds nothing meaningful is left for the “national efforts” role in this sub-sector. Moreover, where are these “solid and thorough studies and assessment” which the recent announcement was premised upon?   None!

Please click here to download Ahmed Mousa Jiyad’s full report.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email:, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has requested proposals from international oil companies interestsed in developing a number of small- and medium-sized oil fields.

The fields concerned are:

  • Sindebad (Basra governorate);
  • Umm Qasr [Um Qaser] (Basra governorate);
  • Rachi (Basra governorate);
  • Abu Khema (Basra governorate);
  • Kumait (Missan governorate);
  • Noor (Missan governorate);
  • Umara (Missan governorate);
  • Dema (Missan governorate);
  • Dujaila (Missan governorate);
  • Mid-Euphrates fields (Mergan, Kifl, West Kifl).

The companies already qualified to bid are:

  • China Zhenhua Oil Company (China)
  • Dragon Oil (UAE)
  • Edison (Italy)
  • Glencore Exploration (Switzerland)
  • Gulfsands Petroleum (UK)
  • Inpex (Japan)
  • Itochu (Japan)
  • Japex (Japan)
  • JOGMEC (Japan)
  • JX Nippon (Japan)
  • Kuwait Energy (Kuwait)
  • Mitsui Oil Exploration (MOECO) (Japan)
  • Mubadala Oil (UAE)
  • OSJC Rosneft (Russia)
  • Pertamina (Indonesia)
  • PetroVietnam (Vietnam)
  • PTTEP (Thailand)
  • SNGN Romgaz (Romania)
  • Crescent Petroleum (UAE)

Tenders from non-qualified companies will also be considered.

More information here, here and here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Iran has reportedly signed an agreement with France’s Total to develop the South Azadegan oil field, which is shares with Iraq.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh (pictured) is quoted as saying that both parties have agreed to keep the details of agreement confidential, adding that the French firm is now “studying its participation in the development of the oil field.

The field is said to hold an in-situ oil reserve of about 33.2 billion barrels.

Iran reached an agreement with Japan’s Inpex a decade ago to develop the field, but the Japanese company quit the project following the imposition of sanctions.

(Source: GulfNews)

LUKOIL has finished its 2D seismic survey at Block 10 in southern Iraq.

The seismic survey began in April 2014 and covered 2,000 linear kilometers. It was completed according to the highest standards six months ahead of schedule. The acquired seismic data will be processed and interpreted to identify promising sites for exploration drilling.

The Mandatory Geologic Exploration Program at Block 10 has a 5-year time frame with a potential 2-year extension and includes drilling one exploration well in addition to the 2D seismic survey.

Block 10 covers a total area of 5,600 square kilometers and is located on the territory of Dhi Qar and Mutanna provinces, 120 km west of Basra. LUKOIL was granted the right to conduct exploration, development and production operations at Block 10 as a result of a licensing round held in June 2012. A 25-year Service Contract with a potential 5-year extension was signed on November 7, 2012.

Shares in the project are distributed as follows: LUKOIL – 60% (Operator) and Japanese INPEX CORPORATION – 40%. The Contract holder from the Iraqi side is the state-owned South Oil Company.

(Source: Lukoil)