Stock - Halliburton
Halliburton could be tasked to get data on the Akkas field, which has been idle since 2017. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Baghdad: Iraq’s cabinet may reactivate a deal with Halliburton Co. to drill wells in a western gas field in Akkas next month, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said. An agreement with Halliburton would enable the oil ministry to get clear data on the production capacity of the Akkas field and it may reach a decision after Ramadan, which ends early Mayd.

If the government decides to develop the field, which has been idle since Baghdad retook it from Daesh militants in late 2017, it would have to pick a production company for the project. Officials have been in talks with Chevron Corp. and Saudi Aramco about investment in the region. That “will depend on the data we get from the exploration and well-drilling operations,” Abdul Jabbar said.

Kurdistan talks

Abdul Jabbar said 80 per cent of the contracts that the Kurdistan Regional Government signed with oil companies are correct and the rest need to be reviewed. The KRG has no problem with half the solutions the federal government offered to resolve the oil issues in Kurdistan. The Kurdish region exports 430,000 barrels of oil per day, Jabbar said.

Baghdad has long sought to bring Kurdish production under its control in exchange for funds from the national budget.

High oil prices

Iraq will probably sell its oil for an average of $106-$107 a barrel this month if prices remain at current levels, the minister added. The oil ministry is providing 30 million liters of gasoline a day for local consumption, which Abdul Jabbar called a “big” number. Work on a new refinery in Karbala has been delayed by COVID-19, but the facility is expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2023. The country will continue to import gasoline until 2024.