THE LONDON TIMES: BP and Shell establish new toehold in Iraqi oil industry: “BP AND Royal Dutch/Shell have taken their first tentative steps towards rebuilding their presence in oil-rich Iraq after yesterday signing consultancy contracts with the interim government.” (ShellNews.net) 15 Jan 05
By Peter Klinger
January 15, 2005
BP AND Royal Dutch/Shell have taken their first tentative steps towards rebuilding their presence in oil-rich Iraq after yesterday signing consultancy contracts with the interim government.
The consultancies, under which Iraq’s Ministry of Oil will tap into the UK giants’ technical expertise, do not guarantee access to the country’s abundant oil and gas resources.
But Shell and BP hope that, by forging a successful relationships with Iraq’s new Government, they will be in pole position should the country decide to open up its natural resources sector to foreign investors.
Neither company has a presence in Iraq, despite historic ties that date back to the 1920s. But they, along with the world’s other oil majors, are monitoring developments.
Neither Shell nor BP will commit staff to the country. Instead, the consultancies will be carried out externally.
Shell’s letter of understanding with the Ministry of Oil is to provide technical support in the evaluation of the Kirkuk oil field. The field is thought to have produced about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). Shell was part of the original consortium that discovered the oil in 1927.
Shell expects the consultancy to last for about a year. It is also helping the Government in setting up a gas strategy.
BP has signed a contract with the Ministry of Oil to undertake a technical study of the massive Rumaila oil field near Basra, in southern Iraq. Rumaila has produced 1.3 million barrels of oil from its 660 wells.
BP said: “We will be working with the Ministry and the [national] Southern Oil Company to provide a modern analysis of Rumaila’s reservoirs.”
Gavin Graham, Shell’s director new business development for Shell Exploration and Production in the Middle East said: “Shell’s participation in the Kirkuk study is part of a broad programme of assistance . . . Shell’s contribution to the study, is in line with our continued commitment to supporting the Iraqi oil industry, and establishing a material and enduring presence in the country.”