SOC hits production target

19 December 2003
South Oil Company (SOC), the country's biggest producer, expects to finish the year on a high note, with production capacity restored close to its pre-war level. Speaking to MEED on 15 December, SOC director-general Jabar al-Lueibi said available capacity from its southern fields had reached 1.9 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude, up from barely 1 million b/d in the summer. 'We have achieved our targets for restoring capacity in 2003,' he said. 'The Oil Ministry is now reviewing our development plan for 2004, which will include more drilling and perhaps further exploration.'

Restoration of output from fields in the south has far exceeded initial expectations following the extensive looting of essential production infrastructure in the days after the fall of the old regime. SOC, which has so far worked closely on the US-funded Reconstruction of Iraqi Oil (RIO) programme with prime contractor Kellogg Brown & Rootto rebuild its facilities, intends to take more control of certain projects (Oil & Gas, Special Report, 19:9:03, pages 54-57).

'We have the capability to carry out our own projects and next year, depending on the availability of funds, we plan to handle some of the smaller schemes. SCOP [State Company for Oil Projects]is also helping us with some tank farm projects and pipeline work, where it has special expertise,' says Al-Lueibi.

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