Shell secures vital toehold in ‘the new Iraq’ where oil is ready to flowRobin Pagnamenta, Energy Editor
Iraq is on track to outstrip Russia as the world’s second-largest oil producer after the award of a giant production contract yesterday to Royal Dutch Shell.
Shell and its partner, Petronas of Malaysia, secured access to the Majnoon field in the country’s south, which contains an estimated 12.6 billion barrels of oil — more than three times as much crude as is left in the North Sea.
Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq’s oil minister, said the projected increase in capacity from Majnoon, combined with a string of other deals that have been signed with BP, ExxonMobil and others, have placed Iraq on course to quadruple its current production of 2.5 million barrels a day to 10 million within seven years.
If achieved, that would put Iraq behind only neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which produces 12.5 million barrels per day.