UK oil major BP is set to become the latest international oil company (IOC) to renegotiate its crude production target in Iraq, with a new deal for the Rumaila oil field in the south of the country.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry is expected to formalise a new contract with a BP-led consortium before the end of the year, reducing the plateau production target for the Rumaila field to 2.1 million barrels a day (b/d), according to an announcement by Oil Minister Abdulkarim al-Luaibi.

The Rumaila contract initially envisaged increasing production capacity to about 2.9 million b/d by 2017, from just over 1 million b/d.

BP and its partner, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), were awarded a 20-year technical services deal in late 2009 for the development of the 17 billion-barrel oil field as part of Baghdad’s first post-war oil field licensing round.

The consortium is the latest to renegotiate lower production targets as Iraq reassesses its future plans more than three years after signing a raft of service agreements to lift oil production.

Russia’s Lukoil was the first IOC to renegotiate its terms in January, reducing the production target at the West Qurna 2 oil field to 1.2 million b/d, from 1.8 million b/d.

In July, a group led by Italy’s Eni agreed to cut the production target at the Zubair oil field to 850,000 b/d, down from the original 1.1 million b/d agreed in 2010. The contract was also extended to 35 years from 20 years.

UK/Dutch oil major Shell is also in talks for a reduction at the Majnoon field, but these have not been concluded.  The firm is seeking a lower level of 1 million b/d, instead of 1.8 million b/d.

Further announcements on new production levels are expected. Iraq is expected to take a final decision on its long-term production plans by the end of 2014, choosing between 9 million b/d by 2020 or 6 million b/d by 2025.

Iraq oil production targets
Field Operator 2009 production (thousand b/d) Original 2017 target (thousand b/d) New target (thousand b/d)
Badra Gazprom (Russia) 0 170 170
Gharraf Petronas (Malaysia) 0 230 230
Halfaya Petrochina (China) 0 535 535
Majnoon Shell (UK/Dutch) 0 1,800 1,000*
Missan China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) 87 450 450
Najma Sonangol (Angola) 0 110 110
Rumaila BP (UK) 1,000 2,850 2,100*
Qayara Sonangol 0 120 120
West Qurna-1 ExxonMobil (US) 259 2,325 2,325
West Qurna-2 Lukoil (Russia) 190 1,800 1,200
Zubair Eni (Italy) 0 1,125 850
Total   1,536 11,515 9,090
*=Not yet signed. Source: MEED