Iraq lifts production at Exxon’s West Qurna 1 oilfield to 465,000 bpd: officials

West Qurna 1 oilfield, above, developed by Exxon, was previously producing about 440,000 barrels per day. (Reuters)
Updated 17 June 2019

Iraq lifts production at Exxon’s West Qurna 1 oilfield to 465,000 bpd: officials

  • West Qurna 1 oilfield, developed by Exxon, was previously producing about 440,000 barrels per day
  • Iraq is producing slightly more than 4.5 million bpd, below its full capacity of nearly 5 million bpd

WEST QURNA 1 OILFIELD, Iraq: Production at Iraq’s giant West Qurna 1 oilfield in the south has reached 465,000 barrels per day (bpd) after the completion of new crude processing facilities and oil storage tanks, Iraqi oil officials said on Monday.
West Qurna 1 oilfield, developed by Exxon, was previously producing about 440,000 bpd, officials working at the field told Reuters on the sideline of a ceremony to launch the new installations.
Exxon’s foreign staff were present, having returned to the oilfield on June 2, two weeks after Exxon pulled about 60 people from the oilfield and flew them to Dubai.
The evacuation came days after the United States withdrew non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad, citing a threat from neighboring Iran.
Iraqi oilfield officials said Exxon’s foreign staff, including senior management and engineers, returned to the oilfield only after the Iraqi government agreed to provide extra security measures at the field, including the deployment of additional police and armed forces.
The officials and Exxon managers accompanied reporters on a tour inside West Qurna 1 on Monday where armored vehicles and soldiers from the Iraqi army were seen stationed at the gates of the oil production facilities.
Two new crude processing facilities with a joint capacity to process 150,000 bpd of oil, a unit to separate water and oil and five oil storage tanks started testing operations on Monday. The new projects would help to boost production at the field to progressively reach 490,000 bpd, said a senior oilfield manager.
Iraq is producing slightly more than 4.5 million bpd, below its full capacity of nearly 5 million bpd in line with an agreement between OPEC and other producers such as Russia to curtail global supply in order to support prices.


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 24 min 39 sec ago

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.