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The Rumaila Operating Organisation has reached the milestone of its 10 year anniversary.
Since it began its work to safely manage and transform Iraq’s largest producing oilfield in 2010, production has increased 40% – with more than 4.9 billion barrels produced.
Its success is largely thanks to the strong integration of bp, PetroChina and BOC efforts of their 7,000 staff – 94% of whom are Iraqi.
Basra Oil Company (BOC) Acting Director General Basim Abdu-Kareem said: “The Rumaila partnership has proven to be a success story. It is fulfilling its remit to transform the operation, develop the workforce and increase oil production. My thanks go to everyone involved, particularly BOC members of staff for all their efforts and who embraced the new ways of operating introduced by our international colleagues- the experts working for the field’s operator.”
The ROO is a partnership between BOC, PetroChina, the State Oil Marketing Organisation and bp as lead contractor. Together, they have worked tirelessly to modernize the field – drilling 380 new wells, embedding technologies and creating a ‘digital oilfield’, as well as delivering more than three million hours of training and awarding $5.8 billion in contracts to Iraqi companies.
ROO Deputy General Manager, Hussein Abdul Khadhim Hussein, added: “Thanks to the mutual respect shown by individuals and teams from each of the partner organisations, Rumaila has blossomed. Its success is testimony to the power of what can happen when people come together with a shared goal.”
Rumaila continues to operate – despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic – producing around 1.480 million barrels of oil a day (bpd – Q1 2020 average rate) to help provide the financial resources that Iraq and its people need.
A journey together
Ten years ago, the field needed help – declining reservoir pressure threatened future production and the infrastructure and equipment was old and in need of repair. There were also opportunities to improve ways of working including safety, efficiency and capability development.
Improving the safety record required a change of mindset. This meant making safety the number one priority – even ahead of production – bringing in training, new processes, equipment, systems and checks to ensure everyone takes responsibility for themselves and their colleagues.
Facilitated by bp advanced technologies, ROO has gained comprehensive understanding of Rumaila’s subsurface. This has guided decisions on where best to drill new wells, and international standards of reservoir management to maximise the well production rates and reservoir oil recovery. Rumaila’s hundreds of wells, equipment within facilities, and flowlines are now monitored digitally, every second of the day – enabling rapid interventions by operators on-site and at Rumaila headquarters when issues occur.
Numerous facilities have been renovated, upgraded and newly constructed, while one of the world’s largest water injection programmes has helped boost production from reservoirs with low or declining pressure. Overall, the field now injects 1.45 million bpd of water, up from 57,000 bpd a decade previously. Rumaila continues progress on its environmental strategy and several flares have been extinguished throughout the decade. ROO is working in partnership, to achieve further air quality improvement and carbon emissions reduction in the future.
BOC and contracted local staff are supported by bp and PetroChina personnel, who share their international expertise while working alongside their Iraqi colleagues. Together, staff now work in ways that adhere to established international processes, undertaken in a systematic, efficient and safe way.
Rumaila Special Deputy General Manager, Fan Jianping, said: “Rumaila is now a more advanced oilfield. So much knowledge has been gained and shared. So much has changed in terms of how Rumaila now operates, an accomplishment achieved by the shared determination shown by everyone involved.”
The wider Iraqi oil and gas industry also plays a crucial role in the transformation of the field, with Iraqi companies providing a range of services and support. Since 2010, some $5.8 billion of contracts have been awarded to 185 Iraqi companies, covering 630 contracts. The volume of contracts awarded to Iraqi companies in 2019 is up almost five-fold on 2010.
ROO has helped facilitate this increase through a continuous focus on developing the capability of Iraqi companies to meet international standards.
Foundations for the future
Beyond oil production, ROO supports regional and local development. The Rumaila Education Fund provides skills development in Iraq’s wider oil and gas industry, through technology, scholarships and training. While the Rumaila Social Welfare Fund benefits the field’s neighbouring communities which have seen new health clinics constructed, potable water piped to homes, training schemes delivered, and new roads built. These initiatives target communities which are often isolated, have high levels of unemployment and limited amenities.
ROO General Manager from bp, Orkhan Guliyev, concludes: “This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on a remarkable journey, on everything that has been achieved over the past ten years, and learn the lessons to create an even better future. From the laying the foundations for a new Rumaila and nurturing new relationships, through to overcoming difficult times together and becoming a safer and more efficient operation – everyone connected with Rumaila can feel very proud of everything that has been achieved by the partnership.”
The Rumaila oilfield produced 1.467 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 – the oilfield’s highest annual rate of production for 30 years. 2018 also saw the milestone of four billion barrels of oil produced since the Rumaila Operating Organisation [ROO] began operating in June 2010. The results were reported in the 2018 Rumaila Annual Report, submitted by the Basra Oil Company (BOC) to the Iraq Ministry of Oil.
In accordance with BOC’s objectives, Rumaila continued its journey to becoming a more advanced oilfield in 2018. New infrastructure played an important part in the year’s success, with three major projects completed that help Rumaila’s capacity to produce its current high production rates, as well as contribute to securing the field’s long-term future. The new Rumaila Power Plant began operating, providing 150,000kW of electricity to the Iraq National Grid and supporting Rumaila facilities; three new dehydrator and desalter production trains were commissioned – increasing production capacity by 124,000 bpd; and two degassing facilities installed new large-scale ‘free water knock out’ vessels that ensure oil quality remains high by stripping water from the hydrocarbons.
The introduction of new technologies continues to play a vital role in the field’s advancement. In 2018, this included: the further expansion of the ‘digital oilfield’ (with 2,000 digital sensors now providing instant data from wells, facilities and manifolds to guide production performance), the completion of a field-wide TETRA radio communications infrastructure, and new data analytics tools and frameworks that visualize, interpret and reveal meaningful insights to improve day to day working.
Underpinning the 2018 results has been the ongoing programme to drill new wells, optimize existing wells, and the injection of industrial-use water to restore pressure to reservoirs in the north of the field. Thanks to the water injection programme and its supporting operations, Rumaila has been able to produce oil from historically harder to access reservoirs: in 2018, the oil produced from the Mishrif reservoir was more than triple the amount of oil extracted from that reservoir in 2010 and generating results never previously achieved at the oilfield.
The 2018 Annual Report also highlighted:
Rumaila General Manager, Hussein Abdul-Kadhim Hussein, commented: “2018 was a remarkable 12 months in the 70-year history of this oilfield, as well as another exceptional year for the Rumaila Operating Organisation. The partnership goes from strength to strength: our success derives from the way BOC, BP and PetroChina continues to operate as one integrated team.”
BOC Director General, Ihsan Ismael, said: “On behalf of BOC, I’d like to thank every single BOC staff member who has ensured that Rumaila continues to deliver successful oil production for Iraq, as well as pay tribute to the support of our partners, BP and PetroChina.”
ROO Deputy General Manager, Julian O’Connell, said: “Rumaila is in service to Iraq. Our objective is to provide oil to support Iraq today, as well as create a legacy for the future. Our strategy and programme for field rejuvenation and training Iraqi personnel is helping us to achieve these twin goals and to overcome the multitude of challenges Rumaila faces.”
Rumaila Special Deputy General Manager, Fan Jianping, added: “We are very pleased to report another successful year at Rumaila. Equally important is the fact that we have achieved this within a safe working environment. We of course want to increase production, but we also want Rumaila to be the pride of Iraq, which can only be achieved by having safety as the number one priority.”
Recently opened Advanced Collaborative Environment facility allows real-time analysis of field production data
In accordance with BOC’s objectives, Rumaila’s programme of modernization continues to deliver benefits with the opening of an Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) at Rumaila headquarters, helping to optimize production in the first months since its completion.
As a further demonstration of Rumaila as a ‘digital oilfield’, the ACE features the latest technologies to visualize real-time information from across the field’s main operational facilities, helping teams work together to optimize production and identify and address issues immediately. It contains a fully collaborative visualization system with multiple large screens, an 84-inch multi-touch screen hub and a field-wide radio system, allowing immediate analysis of wells data, reservoir conditions and wider operational performance, 24 hours a day by Iraqi staff.
The ACE is part of a wider programme of modernization that has been underway for eight years and is designed to grow and sustain the oilfield. The transition to a digital oilfield is a key part of this. Where once Rumaila relied on paper records, the digital revolution has largely swept this away and extends to the field and all departments. This modern way ensures accurate, continuous and timely flow of information which secures proper data analysis essential for increasing production and reducing losses. Software applications and platforms have transformed the way Rumaila does business internally and with its external partners and suppliers. Real-time data is crucial to improving production efficiency and cutting-edge technologies have now been fitted in wells and degassing stations to provide this data to the teams. The digital oilfield is supported by an information technology infrastructure and a high-speed ‘microwave’ network that connects all facilities across an area of 1,600 square kilometres.
In terms of infrastructure and equipment, in the last year alone Rumaila witnessed a number of important developments, including: the installation of one of the most advanced production trains in Iraq; the delivery of 200-tonne dehydrator and desalter vessels and free water knock out units; and completion of construction of the field’s own electricity power plant. These complement earlier and ongoing upgrades to degassing stations, cluster pump stations and pipelines, all of which have helped to deliver production levels and quality at historic levels.
The modernization programme has also included the introduction of world-class processes and procedures. For example, with safety the top priority, ‘Control of Work’ operating systems and permits have been introduced for work processes to support the drive to provide safety standards comparable with other international oilfields. Over 100,000 permits have been issued in just two years as a result of this initiative.
ROO Joint Management Committee Chairman, Basim Taher Abed, said: “The introduction of new technologies and the adoption of new ways of working are critical components in delivering Rumaila’s long-term strategy for sustained and high oil production. The Rumaila Operating Organization has been introducing cutting edge technologies which led to a lower operating cost and then decreased cost per barrel.”
ROO General Manager, Hussein Abdul Khadim Hussein, said: “Our mission is to make Rumaila a truly world-class oilfield and this means providing our workforce with advanced modern equipment and technologies as well as the skills, capabilities and know-how so that they can do their job in accordance with international standards.”
ROO Deputy General Manager from BP, Julian O’Connell, added: “The modernization programme at Rumaila involves bringing the right technologies to the field to both enhance our people’s capability and drive our ability to deliver oil for Iraq. Witnessing the impact technologies have made in the way we work each day and dramatically raise production has been exciting for everybody working at Rumaila.”
The ROO unincorporated joint venture comprises BOC, BP, PetroChina and the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) and is responsible for maximizing oil production from Iraq’s biggest oilfield. Since its establishment, ROO has delivered over four billion barrels of oil for Iraq and increased its oil production almost 40% from 1.066 million barrels per day (bpd) in December 2009 to 1.477 million bpd (June 2018 YTD daily average).
The 2017 Rumaila Annual Report submitted by the Basra Oil Company (BOC) to the Iraq Ministry of Oil highlights an eighth year of production growth under the stewardship of the Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO).
Annual measured production for 2017 was 1.456 million barrels of oil (1,456 mbd), the highest since 1989 and 3.2% higher than in 2016. Among the highlights of the year were the 157 previously ceased wells brought back online; the continued water injection programme to boost production with 723,000 barrels of water injected, and the value of contracts won by Iraqi companies during the year was $810 million – almost double that of 2016.
Other key statistics from 2017 highlighted in the Annual Report are:
One of the main factors behind the increasing production rate is the unrelenting focus on modernizing the field’s facilities, processes and procedures. The Annual Report highlights the main developments in this regard during 2017 – most notably: installation and commissioning of a new advanced production train at Degassing Station 2; the construction of Rumaila’s own power plant; improving safety records, driven by improvement in Control of Work procedures and a focus on process safety; a continued reduction in the time taken to drill and complete wells; and the increased availability of real-time data from wells and degassing stations that allows for instant analysis and action.
Hussein Abdul-Kadhim Hussein, Rumaila General Manager, commented: “This has been another excellent year for Rumaila. Production is at record levels under ROO and we have met challenges with resolve and unity. That is good news for Rumaila and good news for Iraq.”
Rumaila Deputy General Manager, John Kurz, stated: “The continued focus on modernizing every aspect of the field is undoubtedly a key reason for the delivery of another successful year. Rumaila is being transformed into truly world-class field with the latest technologies, equipment and processes allowing us to optimize performance and maximise production.”
Fan Jianping, Special Deputy General Manager, added: “The ability of everyone in the field from BOC, PetroChina and BP to learn from one another and work together has been pivotal to our continued progress. Our thanks for this goes to every single member of our workforce, who have shown a great spirit of determination and the ability to work together as one team to achieve our goals.”
The ROO is an unincorporated joint venture between BOC, BP, PetroChina and the State Organisation for Marketing Oil (SOMO).
The Rumaila Power Plant (RPP) is now completed and fully operational. The plant was officially opened in a ceremony on 28th of March, attended by representatives from the Ministry of Oil, Basra Oil Company and the Rumaila Operating Organization (ROO).
The RPP is the largest single-value investment to date made by the ROO, the unincorporated joint venture between BOC, BP and PetroChina which manages the field. The RPP uses gas captured from the field’s own reservoirs to power turbines that generate the electricity that will help make Rumaila become more energy self-sufficient.
Up to 235,000kW per day will be generated at peak efficiency during the winter months and a minimum of 150,000kW per day in the summer, when high temperatures affect turbine efficiency. The capacity generated is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 23,000 typical Basrawi homes.
Around 500 Iraqis were employed during construction – which was project-managed and delivered by China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC). The state-of-the-art plant comprises five main areas: a lead control room which will monitor plant operations; five gas turbine generators (GTGs) and accompanying control rooms; fuel gas compressors to distribute cleaned gas to the gas turbines; gas insulated switchgear where electricity generated by the GTGs is transformed and made ready for export via overhead transmission lines; and a warehouse for storing equipment, materials and supplies. Construction and ancillary work involved the removal of 40,000m3 of earth, the laying of 800km of cables and 22km of pipelines and a total of over five million hours of work, all delivered without any safety incidents.
Rumaila is responsible for the highest oil production of any field in Iraq. Power demands for running a vast and complex operation are considerable, which historically have been met from a combination of electricity from the national grid and diesel generators. The ROO identified the need to find a more sustainable solution to its electricity needs and plans were initiated to build a power plant that would use gas from the field’s reservoirs to provide this power.
ROO General Manager Hussein Abdul Khadim Hussein stated: “This is a significant moment in the history of Rumaila. We are delighted that Rumaila can play its part in generating the power that will support the oilfield’s energy needs for years to come as well as free up much-needed energy capacity for the national grid.”
ROO Deputy General Manager, Ariel Flores, said: “We are delighted to see this project successfully come to fruition. The Rumaila Power Plant is only part of the broader strategy to modernize the Rumaila oilfield and make it a world-class operation. 2018 has already seen a new train commissioned that adds 80,000 barrels per days to the field’s production capacity and we continue to install new vessels at our facilities to support future production. The field’s transformation is well under way.”
ROO Special Deputy General Manager, Fan Jianping, added: “We are very proud to see the completion of this prestigious project and we are delighted by what has been accomplished. The extra capacity that this gives us will be key to the future stability and prosperity of the region.”