BP continues to advise the Iraqi government on how best to exploit the northern Kirkuk oil field, parts of which are now controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and hopes to secure a permanent deal to develop the field under a technical service contract once security is restored in the north. In the meantime, the company is pressing ahead with further development of the giant Rumaila field in the south, though senior executive admit that the ramp up to a revised plateau of 2.1mn b/d will be gradual.

BP does not have any staff in Kirkuk, parts of which fell under KRG control after Iraqi troops withdrew rather than fight the advancing militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) – otherwise known as Islamic State (IS) – in the summer of 2014. It is, however, conducting work through contractors under a memorandum of understanding signed with the oil ministry in September 2013. The purpose of the 18-month study was to conduct a technical analysis that was to lead to a no-contest contract for further development of Kirkuk under a long-term technical service agreement. (CONTINUED - 1659 WORDS)