BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s South Oil Company on Tuesday issued a tender for a 75,000-barrel-per-day crude oil processing plant in the “super giant” South Rumaila oil field.
The company said bids for the degassing plant had to be received by May 15 and that its construction was part of Phase One plans to boost production in the field. Iraq has previously issued a tender for 45 new oil wells in South Rumaila.
The partially developed South Rumaila field is classed as a super giant with more than 5 billion barrels of reserves. Its current production amounts to around 800,000 bpd.
Iraq relies on crude exports for 95 percent or more of government revenues and is desperate to raise funds to rebuild its infrastructure as the violence unleashed by the 2003 U.S. invasion begins to subside.
Total production of 2.3-2.4 million bpd remains at below pre-invasion levels and Iraq’s vast fields, which contain the world’s third biggest oil reserves, are underexploited due to decades of war, sanctions and underinvestment.
The fields need more processing plants to support planned new oil wells as Iraq seeks to boost production quickly.
“The current installations in the field are not capable of coping with the new oil wells scheduled to be drilled,” said an official of the South Oil Company, who asked not to be named.
“We need to construct and install more process facilities to cope with the extra crude quantities that will be obtained through the new oil wells in the near future.”
At the end of March, the South Oil Company issued a tender for companies to build two crude oil processing plants in the West Qurna oil field. Those bids were due by April 23.
West Qurna, with estimated reserves of around 8.682 billion barrels of crude oil, is also a super giant and is producing around 300,000 barrels per day of crude.
Iraq has also issued a tender for a similar oil facility for the 5-billion-barrel Halfaya oil field, another super giant.