February 27, 2018 / 12:22 PM / 25 days ago

Iraq preparing to tender water injection project if Exxon talks fail

BERLIN, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Iraq’s Basra Oil Co is preparing to tender for a water injection project vital to increase its oil production capacity if talks with Exxon Mobil fail, the head of the oil ministry’s licensing and contracts office said.

“We cannot wait for a longer time unless Exxon Mobil accepts the deal for the benefit of the two parties,” Abdul Mahdi al-Ameedi told reporters on the sidelines of the CWC Iraq Petroleum Conference in Berlin.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in October Iraq was in final talks with Exxon on developing the project, which consists of building oil pipelines, storage and a mechanism to inject water from the Gulf into oil reservoirs.

Al Ameedi said part of the delay in negotiations with Exxon and Petrochina, another interested party, related to initial production rates from the Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi oilfields.

“In the beginning when we discussed with them, the initial production rate from the two fields was in the order of 40,000 bpd (barrels per day), but now it is more than 125,000 bpd,” he said.

“This will impact severely the economics of the project ... it affects the economics parameter, the profit share or the profit to the company.” (Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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