Iraq to raise production capacity of Siba gasfield in Basra

Opec’s second-largest producer has been looking to boost gas production to meet growing power demand

The Nahr Bin Omar oilfield and plant near Iraq's southern port city of Basra. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Iraq plans to raise the production capacity of the Siba gasfield in Basra to 100 million standard cubic feet per day from 60 million currently.

The state-owned Basra Oil Company aims to increase the number of wells drilled in the field from 10 to boost its production capacity, the Iraq News Agency reported on Friday citing a statement from the country’s Oil Ministry.

"Siba field is one of the important gasfields,” said Hayan Abdul Ghani, Iraq’s Oil Minister. The site also produces 1,200 tonnes of liquid gas, producing 1,000 barrels of condensate.

“The field facilities rely on advanced technology and resort to horizontal drilling to increase the quantities of gas invested from the border field,” he said.

Iraq, Opec’s second-largest producer, is looking to increase its gas production at a time when it is heavily reliant on imports to feed its power grid.

This week, Sharjah-based energy company Crescent Petroleum and the Iraqi Oil Ministry put into effect three agreements to develop oil and gasfields.

Crescent Petroleum, which signed the three 20-year contracts in February, is expected to produce 400 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas within a period of one and a half years.

The contracts cover the production of natural gas from two oil and gas blocks in northern Diyala province, while a third in Iraq’s main oil-producing region of Basra will be explored and developed to add further supplies.

Iraq's electricity demand is set to double between 2019 and 2030, with its supply shortfall expected to widen as its population grows by more than a million a year, the International Energy Agency says.

The country's electricity demand in summer exceeds 35 gigawatts but its obsolete plants and grid can produce only about 25 gigawatts, resulting in lengthy power cuts and the use of expensive and contaminating private diesel generators.

Saudi Arabia last week said it had inaugurated the Gulf electricity market project's connection platform with Iraq. This will enable the trade of electric power between the Gulf bloc and Iraq, helping the latter to meet its growing demands for power.

Updated: October 20, 2023, 2:21 PM