Iraq’s council of ministers on 21 November approved a $619mn award to Italy’s Sicim for upgrading gas sweetening facilities at the 480,000 b/d-capacity West Qurna-2 (WQ-2), operated by Russia’s Lukoil. As per a statement by the PM’s office, the project will include adding a nitrogen unit in addition to gas dehydration and compression units, to be delivered in 990 days, implying Q3 2026 delivery. Current WQ-2 output comes mainly from the Mishrif (24-28° API) formation, with a modest 20,000 b/d of pilot output from the deep Yamama reservoir (32.7-36.4° API).

These Yamama volumes, whilst lighter, have a high concentration of hydrogen-sulfide (H2S). The new project aims to treat these volumes at the existing Mishrif facilities as a senior Oil Ministry official explains. Current Yamama crude output is blended untreated into the Mishrif stream (MEES, 10 November). Lukoil plans a 350,000 b/d-capacity processing facility for Yamama crude, with Sicim currently undertaking FEED. The H₂S may then be injected back into the reservoir, though Iraq’s preferred option is for “full sulfur recovery.” Lukoil targets overall WQ-2 output capacity of 800,000 b/d by 2030, with the Yamama key to hitting this. Lukoil is expanding further in Iraq with the buyout of partner Inpex from the Eridu development (MEES, 24 November). (CONTINUED - 208 WORDS)