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Badra Oil Field in Iraq Opens Production

Badra Oil Field
Sept. 2, 2014 - Oil well development in Iraq continued apace despite fighting by ISIS as an oil field began production at the Badra in east Iraq.

Gazprom Neft is leading a consortium of oil producers that is now extracting 15,000 barrels of oil a day for export from the Basra terminal in the south of Iraq.

Geography of Oil, Fighting

The location of Iraq's main oil production and distribution is to the east and south of the civil war that is pitting the militant 'Islamic State' against the Baghdad government, Kurdish forces from the north and Sunni and other ethnic groups in the central west of Iraq between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

The Islamic State, a self-proclaimed caliphate trying to advance its rule in the region, has captured some oil facilities, is selling crude on the black market. But the major production of Iraq, about 3 million barrels a day, is at present sufficiently far from the front lines of the fighting.

Taken together with the increased production in North America, the ISIS conflict has not been sufficient to cause supply, and thus price, disruptions. Midday on Sept. 2, NYMEX crude was trading at $93 a barrel and Brent was at $100.38.

Expanding Iraqi Production

The Badra field is expected to increase production from Badra to about 170,000 barrels a day. The field has an estimated reserve of 3 billion barrels, less than a supergiant classification of 5 billion but still a major repository of fossil fuel. Gazprom's partners at Badra include KOGAS of South Korea, Petronas of Malaysia, the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company and TPAO of Turkey.

Lukoil of Russia in August announced its first shipment of oil from West Qurna II, a supergiant field with 13 billion barrels in reserves in south Iraq. Lukoil began production at West Qurna in March with a volume of 120,000 barrels a day, but has grown that to 280,000 barrels a day.