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"Iraq Oil & Gas Report Q1 2013" Published

Fast Market Research recommends "Iraq Oil & Gas Report Q1 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available

 

Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/25/2013 -- BMI View: Although Iraq is set to lead the Middle East the region oil production growth in the Middle East region, a number of above ground risks and uncertainty related to projects in the pipeline results in widely varied forecasts over the next decade. Consensus remains elusive, as unattractive fiscal terms and a perceived better operating environment in the north better operating environment continues to support an exodus of foreign oil companies from fields in the south. Additionally, infrastructure constraints, political disputes between north and south, and project delays, add to the divergence among forecast and uncertainty.

We highlight the following trends and developments in Iraq's oil and gas sector:

- While low lifting costs, large reserves, and ease of production from large onshore fields reduces the below ground risks associated with Iraq's upstream, unappealing licensing terms, regulatory uncertainty and ongoing security concerns continue to undermine the post-war oil industry. Baghdad's last licensing round drew just three successful bids. Without improved terms and increased international oil company (IOC) interest, Iraq will find it very difficult to meet its extremely ambitious oil production target of 11mn b/d by 2020.
- Our forecast is for bullish growth in oil output, underscoring the country's substantial hydrocarbon potential, however downside risks remain abundant. With both above and below ground challenges adding uncertainty to our outlook, project delays such as those at the Majnoon field or the exit of key IOC operators suggests that while Iraq's oil production will increase over the course of our forecast period, forecasting production will remain difficult.
- Baghdad could be set to offer the improved terms that would increase interest in southern fields, with the oil ministry announcing in September 2012 would receive bids for its upcoming fifth licensing round under 'completely different' terms, from the disappointing May 2012 results. The fifth round, set for 2013, will see licences issued for gas fields only, according to the same statement. However, the revisions are not likely to be sufficient in enticing oil majors to exit licences in the KRG for those controlled by Baghdad; therefore, some form of compromise between Erbil and the Central Government remains necessary if Iraq is to reach long-term production targets.
- Iraqi crude oil production in August 2012 reached its highest level in more than three decades at 3.07mn b/d, with OPEC estimated crude production at 3.18mn b/d in October 2012. Improvements to export infrastructure in the South also lifted exports to a new high of 2.57mn b/d, according to Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). Additional output is coming from a number of joint venture projects, including ExxonMobil's West Qurna-1, Eni's Zubair field and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)-led Halfaya project.

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