Page 5 - MEOG Week 08 2023
P. 5

MEOG                                         COMMENTARY                                               MEOG

                         have plagued the onshore are unlikely to dissi-  with their maritime borders and considering the
                         pate in the Arabian Gulf.            waters of Al-Faw as part of the Kuwaiti baseline.”
                                                                He urged Iraq to develop “a map of the terri-
                         Iraq                                 torial sea and the economic zone at the United
                         Meanwhile, last November, Iraq’s Oil Explora-  Nations and to enter into negotiations with
                         tion Co. (OEC) and China National Offshore  neighbouring maritime countries to guarantee
                         Oil Corp. (CNOOC) kicked off the initial survey  its sovereign rights over this part of the sea that is
                         phase of an onshore joint study agreement, part  restricted by the rules of international law.”
                         of an onshore/offshore deal that has been several   Meanwhile, Iraqi government representative
                         years in the making.                 Amer Abdul-Jabbar Ismail recently highlighted
                           The Arab Gulf Block Joint Study Agreement  “Kuwaiti transgressions on Iraqi territorial
                         (AGB JSA) survey marks Iraq’s first offshore sur-  waters through the presence of a Kuwaiti off-
                         vey and comes as the country seeks to expand its  shore oil platform 5 nautical miles [9.3km] from
                         reserve base and the market awaits the results of  Khor Al-Khafga and 18 nautical miles [33.3km]
                         a reserve audit.                     from the Basra oil port, which is an infringement
                           Speaking to the local Al Sabah newspaper  on Iraq’s territorial sovereignty.”
                         and the Iraqi News Agency (INA), OEC direc-  In January, the Iraqi National Oil Co. (INOC)
                         tor Ali Jassim said that CNOOC “has started  finally concluded a deal agreed in 2019 – delayed
                         its work in implementing a joint study contract  by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – for
                         for 2-D seismic survey and geophysical surveys  OEC and CNOOC on the onshore/offshore
                         to explore hydrocarbon gatherings in the Iraqi  exploration project. This will see the Chinese
                         marine patch in the north of the Arabian Gulf.”  firm target a 530-square km area offshore the
                           He added: “There is an urgent government  Al-Fao peninsula with OEC focusing on a con-
                         desire to invest and increase national reserves  nected 120-square km onshore area, south-east
                         to keep pace with the needs of the markets,  of the 6.4bn barrel Zubair oilfield.
                         according to expectations of finding the targeted   OEC director-general Ali Jassim said at the
                         commercial quantities, similar to the riparian  time: “The plans of the Ministry and the National
                         countries with Iraq.”                Oil Company aim to maximise the national
                           Jassim noted that “the most important stage  reserves of hydrocarbon wealth and invest it,
                         includes cleaning and removing war remnants –  through intertwining the national effort, and
                         projectiles and mines – a from the land surface”,  joint work with reputable international compa-
                         which OEC is carrying out in co-ordination with  nies in transforming expectations into an actual
                         the Ministry of Defense, the Regional Center for  reserve added to the national production.”
                         Mine Affairs in the Ministry of Environment   He noted that OEC and CNOOC are “pre-
                         and Basra Oil Co. (BOC). Meanwhile, CNOOC  paring to conclude a contract in the coming
                         is expected to launch a tender for qualified com-  days”, paving the way for the start of exploratory
                         panies to bid to clean and remediate the marine  surveys.
                         area.                                  The MoO is also looking to explore four large
                           Mines are not the only area of concern, with  areas in the south-east, described to Middle
                         ongoing disputes around Iraq’s maritime bound-  East Oil & Gas (MEOG) by an MoO source as:
                         ary. Local maritime affairs expert Salah Al-Basri  Area A (between Nasiriyah and Block 10); Area
                         told INA: “The State of Kuwait still has a prob-  B (between Nasiriyah and Gharraf); Area D
                         lem with the base line with Iraq, because of their  (east of Nasiriyah) and Area E, which covers the
                         objection to drawing this line and interfering  marshlands of Dhi Qar.™

       Week 08   22•February•2023               www. NEWSBASE .com                                              P5
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10