Oil majors dive into Iraqi mess to extract riches

By Incorrect Author 14 December 2009

Russia’s energy titan, Lukoil, and Norway's, Statoil, have won the rights to develop a massive Iraqi oilfield, where they hope to boost production to 1.8 million barrels a day. While most sane people would avoid Iraq like the plague, the lure of filthy lucre is just too tempting for oil majors to pass up. The West Qurna-Phase II field has an estimated 12.9 billion barrels of proven reserves, so this should be a good place for South African security companies to makes some hard-earned cash. But this wasn’t the only field in the shop window. Another oil-and-gas field has been snapped up by Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia's, Petronas. They are seeking to boost production from 46,000 bpd to 1.8 million bpd, at $1.39 a barrel. Lots of other concessions went begging, with Petronas and Total of France joining China's, CNPC, in buying up rights to operate the Halfaya oil field, which is proven to yield 4.1 billion barrels. This consortium requested $1.40 a barrel for the investment. With this kind of up-front hedging you have to wonder how free the free market really is. Read more: Reuters, Bloomberg