Angolan state oil company Sonangol reportedly has decided to exit Iraq due to security concerns, with Italy’s Eni also threatening to do the same unless key contracts are signed in the next few weeks.
Sonangol won in 2009 the right to operate the
Qayara and Najmah oilfields in the Nineveh province in north-west Iraq where
Sunni Islamist insurgents remain active.
member in charge of international investments, Anabela Fonseca, told a news
conference on Tuesday the decision to leave the troubled Middle East country was
taken as the company was unable to develop the projects due to their location
in a region of "much conflict", Reuters reported.
executive Paulo Scaroni was last week reported as saying by Upstream the
Italian giant was prepared to quit the country due to frustrations over bureaucratic
delays in developing the southern Zubair oilfield under a technical service
and poor infrastructure, as well as increasing security concerns, have left
some oil majors, including Eni, disgruntled with doing business in the country.
they do not sign the contracts in a couple of weeks we will go. We have waited
six months," Scaroni was quoted as saying on the sidelines of a conference
added: "I am hopeful, we have no reason to believe they won't do it (sign).”
operator of Zubair, has been forced to lower the output target for the
supergiant field near Basra to 850,000 barrels per day from a previous figure
of 1.25 million bpd.
the field is now running at 320,000 barrels per day compared with around
195,000 bpd in 2009 when Eni won the service contract.
to increase production from Zubair to 400,000 bpd by the end of this year.
Milan-based oil analyst said of the company’s threat to quit the country: "I
think it's just tactics. Eni would find it hard to pull out since they've
already invested heavily.”
sources said the process may be slowed due to the distractions of national
elections in April and rising violence in the western Anbar province, where
Baghdad is battling militants.
previously said every investment it makes in Iraq is subject to a bid that then
has to go to different institutions for approval.
Iraq's service contract, the Oil Ministry must approve contract awards above
said at the group's strategy meeting earlier this month he believed contracts “should
be approved in 45 days”.
that it is approved in nine months, sometimes six, sometimes one year," he
has had to let around 100 contractors go after the Oil Ministry failed to
approve crucial contracts for its nearby megaproject at Rumaila, Iraq's biggest
sources said the UK supermajor has no intention whatsoever of leaving Iraq,
with Rumaila now producing at its highest rate - between 1.4 million and 1.5
companies such as ExxonMobil, which has a 25% stake in Iraq’s West Qurna 1
project, have been beating a path to the northern semi-autonomous region of
Kurdistan where more attractive production sharing contracts are on offer and
investment conditions appear more stable.
Baghdad has deemed such deals with the region as illegal under the federal constitution
and has previously threatened to kick ExxonMobil
out of its Iraqi acreage unless the company abandons its Kurdistan blocks.