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Iraq & Oil Partners Shortlist 5 Firms for W.Qurna 2

Source: Reuters 6/21/2011, Location: Middle East

Iraq and its partners, Russia's LUKOIL and Norway's Statoil, have shortlisted five companies to compete for the West Qurna Phase Two oilfield development contract, an Iraqi oil official said. The oil service companies selected are Saipem, SNC Lavalin Group Inc, Punj Lloyd Ltd, Globalstroy Engineering and South Korea's Samsung Engineering, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

"We are studying the commercial offers and we expect to select a winning company within two weeks," the official said. Last September, Iraq and its partners issued four tenders for construction and energy projects at West Qurna Phase Two, a 12.9-billion-barrel supergiant oilfield in southern Iraq. The official said seven companies submitted bids and two -- Petrofac Ltd and Technimont -- were rejected. He did not offer any reason for their exclusion.

The four tenders are for the construction of an oil export pipeline; a tank farm at Tuba; a power distribution station and an associated gas processing plant; and an oil gathering system, central processing facilities and a water supply system.

The tenders are part of the initial development plan set by LUKOIL and Statoil and approved by Iraq's oil ministry last year to start production from the untapped oilfield. They are expected to help production at the field hit 150,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) in January 2013, the Iraqi oil official said.

West Qurna Phase Two operator LUKOIL is selecting one company to work on an Engineering, Procurements and Construction contract (EPC) for building oil facilities. LUKOIL and Statoil sealed the 20-year deal to develop the West Qurna Phase Two in an auction in December 2009, pledging to boost output to a plateau target of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in six years.

Iraq has awarded a series of massive oilfield development contracts with the ambitious objective of expanding its oil production capacity to 12 million bpd by 2017. But Oil Minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi said earlier this month that Iraq was considering cutting this goal and could renegotiate deals with the global oil companies.

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