An oil field in Kurdistan Region. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Oil is closer to flowing out of the Atrush block, a major oilfield in the Kurdistan Region into a pipeline to the world market through Turkey’s Cehyan port, as the United Arab Emirates’ Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) said its oil project will start this year.
An official from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) explained to Rudaw “the feeder pipeline from the [Atrush] field is nearing completion.”
The Atrush block is in the Duhok governorate of the Kurdistan Region.
He expects “exports to start around late June to August,” as the operators “have shown good leadership and MNR is pleased with the coordination with them.”
Onsite management and local training has been a contributing factor to Atrush operations.
“Taqa has shown commitment to the MNR’s localisation policy and has a plan to train local staff over a 3-5 year period so they will be equipped to manage the majority of the onsite operations,” the MNR official added.
“The new production will help to offset the decline in production at the Taq Taq. It is important for the KRG to have such partners from the UAE in the oil and gas sector,” the official detailed, referring to the the Taq Taq field located 85 kilometers southeast of Erbil.
Taqa’s chairman Saeed Mubarak Al-Hajeri said this week in a Bloomberg television interview from Abu Dhabi that they are planning to increase production from Canada and the Kurdistan Region.
Taqa is “planning to spend $500 million into capex, and that’s going to be across the assets,” Hajeri reportedly said. “The goal is to sustain production at a level where we are or higher.”
He added that they are keen to invest in the Kurdistan Region “when it comes to oil and gas,” as it already has an established project to pump oil at the Atrush field.
Taqa paid $600 million four years ago for an initial stake of just more than 53 percent at Atrush, but contract disputes, technical obstacles, and security threats from ISIS delayed production, according to The National.
Taqa’s website has stated the Atrush Block is estimated to have between 1.5 billion and 2.8 billion barrels of oil in place with recoverable oil columns of 670 million barrels. Initial production from Atrush is expected to be approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day.
The deputy head of KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources ministry told Rudaw in January that including the Kirkuk oilfields, the Kurdistan Region exports “580 to 600,000 barrels per day.”