Russia’s Lukoil has begun production from West Qurna-2’s deeper Yamama formation, development of which is crucial if the firm is to bring the field’s output up to its targeted 800,000 b/d. Capacity at WQ-2 currently stands at 350,000 b/d, although actual output is significantly lower due to Opec+ production restrictions.

Late last month, Iraq’s Minister of Oil Ihsan Ismaael attended a ceremony to mark the beginning of the 10,000 b/d pilot production from the Yamama reservoir. At the event, Mr Ismaael reiterated that the ultimate target is to “increase production from the formation to 350,000 b/d.” However, operator Lukoil has long been disgruntled by political instability in Iraq (MEES, 15 November 2019) – and that was before the latest Opec+ cuts – and remains coy over committing to developing Yamama. (CONTINUED - 750 WORDS)