Iraqi Kurdistan’s myriad of small firms are the back-bone of its oil sector and they are planning ambitious developments in 2019. Annual results show numerous companies upgrading processing facilities, drilling new wells, adding pipeline connections, and planning record capital spending. All things considered, MEES estimates that by end-2019, output could exceed 500,000 b/d (see chart and MEES, 18 January).

At the 30,000 b/d Atrush field – an increasingly key producer in the region – work is underway to debottleneck existing production capacity and ‘procure early production facilities’ which minority stakeholder Toronto-listed Shamaran says will bring production capacity to 50,000 b/d in the second half of the year. Technical problems last year led to a disappointing 22,000 b/d gross output, but with partners (Abu Dhabi’s Taqa 47.4%op, Shamaran 27.6%, KRG 25%; subject to the sale of Marathon’s 15% stake) planning to spend $137mn this year, Atrush could exit the year at more than double its 2017 average. (CONTINUED - 674 WORDS)