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Petronas mulls exiting Gharraf oilfield in Iraq: CEO

Petronas Iraq_IFM_Image
The oil giant operates the Gharraf oilfield with a 45 percent stake

Malaysia-based state-owned oil and gas company Petronas is mulling exiting the Gharra oilfield in Iraq, according to its president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz. It is speculated that the depleting oil prices are forcing the oil major to consider this decision.

Petronas operates the Gharraf oilfield in Iraq with a 45 percent stake. While Japan Petroleum Exploration owns a 30 percent interest, the remaining 25 percent interest is owned by North Oil Company.

The Gharraf oilfield produced between 90,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd last year. However, operations in the field were suspended in mid-March earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was reported that the production resumed in July at a rate of 50,0000 bpd.

Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz told the media, “Under the $40/barrel scenario, I’d be the first to admit that under all possible lenses, we’ve had to trigger a review of our intent to stay in Gharraf. I can only say watch this space … we are in consultation with the host authorities to see whether the [oilfield’s] economics can be improved but of course, over and above that, we need to make sure it makes sense from the sustainability lens as well. If we can make it better, cleaner, we’ll still pursue it.”

It is reported that Petronas, Makarim Gas Development Limited (OQ) and BP had announced the start of production from the second phase of the Ghazeer natural gas field located in Oman. Petronas is working on the project through its subsidiary PC Oman Ventures (PCOVL).

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