Iraq’s oil production is dominated by heavier crude from the 24-28° API Mishrif formation. In June last year Russia’s Lukoil, operator of the 450,000 b/d capacity West Qurna-2 (WQ-2) oil field, launched a pilot project to produce 10,000 b/d from the lighter and deeper 35-37° API Yamama reservoir (MEES, 4 June 2021).

Lukoil claims that WQ-2 Yamama output has since risen to 30,000 b/d but an Iraqi oil industry insider places much doubt on the claim. “They [Lukoil] reached the depth but closed the Yamama portion and are likely to be producing from Mishrif,” the drilling professional working for a foreign services contractor reckons, adding that Lukoil has an incentive to keep the facility producing, given that this would enable it to recoup the costs of the pilot project, but has not yet built surface facilities capable of processing the higher H2S content of the crude. (CONTINUED - 236 WORDS)