Iraq Drilling Hits 3-Year High, Abu Dhabi Sets New Record

Total this week reiterated that work is ongoing at Halfaya Phase-3 in southern Iraq to double capacity to 400,000 b/d by later this year. Chinese state firm CNPC is operator with 45% (Total has 22.5% as does Malaysian state firm Petronas).

Drilling here helped raise the Iraqi oil ‘Rig Count’ to 56 for January, the highest level since January 2015, according to monthly figures produced by Baker Hughes, the oil services arm of US conglomerate GE.

Other ongoing work includes expansion of Majnoon capacity by 200,000 b/d to hit 420,000 b/d by 2020 (though operator Shell is in the process of quitting the field). In the KRG Chevron late last month announced plans for an imminent return to exploration drilling, so the rig count may well rise further in the coming months.


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