BP lauds work with Iraqi government

Nov. 14, 2012 at 8:13 AM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- BP's work in the Rumaila oil field in Iraq is a good example of how international oil companies can work constructively with governments, an executive said.

BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley told an oil and natural gas conference in the United Arab Emirates the energy industry was moving into a phase were energy companies were working closely with national governments on exploiting potential reserves.

BP in the 1950s, he said, helped discover the Rumaila oil field in Iraq. As of last year, the company had 20 rigs mobilized in the field. BP, along with the China National Petroleum Corp. offered to raise production at Rumaila to 2.85 million barrels per day within seven years.

"This is now the third largest field in the world but we want to make it No. 2," said Dudley.

The central government in Baghdad is at odds with the semiautonomous Kurdish government over laws regulating the national energy sector. Baghdad has shunned companies working with the Kurdish government, prompting some companies to focus more on their Kurdish assets.

Dudley, however, said Rumaila, in southern Iraq, was a "good example" of ways in which international oil companies, national oil companies and governments could work together.

"No one can do everything and we need to bring different skill sets and experiences together as circumstances demand," he said.

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