Petrel high on Iraq oil prospects

Sept. 24, 2007 at 2:55 PM
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Irish firm Petrel Resources is upbeat on Iraq hydrocarbons ventures despite reporting an increase in operating losses.

“There is not current oil and gas opportunity to match Iraq,” said Petrel Resources Managing Director David Horgan.

The company reported a 45 percent spike in interim operating losses but says work it has been doing in Iraq is a cause of optimism, The Independent reports.

Iraq has the third-largest reserves of oil in the world but further development has largely been hampered by the four-plus year-old warzone and a lack of new legislation governing the hydrocarbons sector.

Petrel, along with partner ITOCHU of Japan, has completed a technical cooperation agreement with the Iraq Ministry of Oil to study the Merjan oil field. The Irish-Japanese partners have also been awarded a technical cooperation agreement for the Dhufriya oil field, located east of al-Kut in the Wasit province.

Petrel has also completed surveys of the Subba and Luhais fields and, The Independent reports, the company is beginning to deliver equipment.

Horgan wants to sign production-sharing agreements with the government for those fields. If that takes place, it means the Iraqi government has backtracked on its previous statements that production-sharing agreements and other risk contracts would be only available for exploration blocks.

“We are confident that our approach will prove to be successful,” Horgan said. “Iraq today is, and will remain a place where international oil and gas players can be highly successful.”

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