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Iraq's Gharraf oil field output dips on delays in drilling works: Japex

Tokyo — Production from the Gharraf oil field in southern Iraq dipped to an average of around 93,000 b/d in January due to delays in drilling works, but stakeholders remained committed to raising the output to 230,000 b/d by the end of 2020, Japan Petroleum Exploration officials said Monday.

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The decline in production at the Gharraf field, which had been producing at around 100,000 b/d of crude as of January 7, was not due to the escalating tensions between the US and neighbor Iran, the officials said.

Japex last loaded 2 million barrels of Basrah Light crude on December 18, 2019 and is due to load its next equity crude cargo in March, according to the officials.

Japex sold a total of 944,000 kl or 5.94 million barrels of crude oil overseas over April-December 2019, up by more than double from 356,000 kl a year ago due mainly to an increase in sales from the Gharraf field.

Japex's equity lifting volumes increased in fiscal 2019-2020 (April-March) because of its increased investment to boost the Gharraf oil field production to 230,000 b/d by the end of 2020 as part of Iraq's approved plan, according to the officials.

The Gharraf field started producing in August 2013 at an initial rate of 35,000 b/d under a technical service contract with Iraq 's South Oil Co.

The consortium consists of Petronas, with a 45% stake, Japex Garraf with a 30% interest and North Oil Co. a 25% stake. Japex holds a 55% stake in Japex Garraf, with state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation holding 35% and Mitsubishi 10%.