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Basra, Iraq, 10 May 2021: The Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO) today announced its 2020 performance results. The field’s oil production rate averaged 1.392 million barrels per day (bpd), despite the impact of COVID-19, a budget reduction and compliance with instructions from BOC to reduce oil production, which reflected OPEC+’s request for Iraq to curtail oil exports.
The year’s strong performance has been attributed to the dedication of the field’s workforce (which is 96% Iraqi) to adapt to and overcome major new challenges. These included a revised and reprioritized production strategy, which benefitted from the strong foundations laid in previous years to modernize facilities, optimize wells and deploy advanced technologies.
Basra Oil Company (BOC) Director General, Mr Khalid Hamza Abbas, said: “Rumaila’s achievements in 2020 deserve great recognition, not least within the context of the global pandemic. My thanks go to every member of staff who did his or her utmost to ensure the field continued to serve the nation at this most difficult time.”
Rumaila’s 2020 achievements included record-breaking levels of water injection, averaging 1.35 million bpd of water – volumes never previously seen at the field. New digital technologies were deployed to maximize efficiencies; 21 new wells were drilled, 115 wells were optimized or renewed, and almost 7,000 well services jobs were conducted to further maintain production, while preventative maintenance and repairs ensured the continued performance of ageing facilities. In addition, new projects were initiated to reduce Rumaila’s operational carbon emissions, particularly utilizing electricity from the gas-fired Rumaila Power Plant, rather than diesel generators, to power some key facilities in the field.
Rumaila also continued to support local communities living near or within the field during the pandemic, with ongoing initiatives to help the Al-Khora Primary Health Care Clinic and the North Rumaila Mobile Health Clinic; ROO also oversaw and delivered the procurement, shipping, installation and training on a computed tomography (CT) scanner for the Basra Al-Sadir Teaching Hospital. Major renovation works also took place at Al Sikak, Al Rumaila and Al Nukhaila schools in order to enhance the quality of local education.
With the onset of the pandemic, global oil demand contracted, resulting in the already low international oil price falling further and causing governments and companies around the world to review their plans. Iraq was no exception and resulted in the ROO’s annual budget reduced by around 30%, with adverse impacts on some development projects and well and production-raising activities. In addition, government-requested curtailments averaged 55,000 bpd over the course of the year, partly in response to Iraq’s compliance with OPEC+’s request to reduce the country’s overall oil exports.
2020 was therefore a year defined by COVID-19. It has always been ROO’s commitment to place the health and safety of staff members above all other considerations. COVID-19 therefore required multiple preventative and responsive activities to limit the transmission of the virus. Field personal protective equipment (PPE) was sourced and distributed, including 300,000 sets of gloves, 20,000 masks, and 1,300 units of hand sanitizing products. Two new clinics were established; additional respiratory and life support equipment were secured; 4,370 diagnostic tests were carried out; contact tracing was instigated after each suspected and confirmed COVID-19 case, and wellbeing initiatives were introduced.
Operationally, the field had to adapt to major disruptions to the way everyday work was delivered. Field staff had to contend with working fewer, yet longer shifts patterns; movement was restricted at Rumaila headquarters which is staffed by a limited number of Iraqi and international colleagues who all adhered to strict quarantining protocols on arrival; hundreds of Iraqi and expatriate staff adapted to working from home. A new IT terminal server enabled staff working remotely in Basra and around the world to securely access emails, files and industry applications, while the number of videoconferencing users increased 960%.
“With the virus making its way to Iraq, we knew we had to do everything we could to keep our people as safe as possible while at work,” said ROO Deputy General Manager, Hussein Abdul Khadim Hussein. “We also had to move quickly, to ensure that the day-to-day operation of the entire field could be maintained, so that Rumaila could continue to deliver for Iraq. The human cost of COVID-19 has been felt by everyone at Rumaila; to everyone affected, we extend our deepest sympathies.”
ROO General Manager, Orkhan Guliyev, said: “The tremendous co-operation and teamwork between BOC, bp and PetroChina, which in previous years had been key to Rumaila surpassing targets, expressed itself in 2020 through a shared sense of resilience. The determination, dedication, patience and endurance of our people enabled us to continue to make progress during what was an extraordinarily challenging year for everyone.”
Rumaila Special Deputy General Manager, Fan Jianping, added: “It has been a difficult operating environment for national and international oil companies across the world. At Rumaila, it has been humbling to see such strength of purpose in overcoming complex challenges. 2020 has further illustrated that our partnership has the focus, fortitude and capability to face tough challenges.”
Basra, Iraq, January 2021: The Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO) today announced that the Rumaila oilfield has reached the production milestone of five billion barrels of oil since ROO – an unincorporated joint venture between the Basra Oil Company (BOC), bp and PetroChina – began operating the field in July 2010.
Reaching this milestone represents a major achievement for several reasons. It comes in a year when everyone at Rumaila has had to show the highest levels of resilience to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19. It also comes after several years of ROO having to address the significant issue of sustaining production from reservoirs where pressure is falling. While operational budgets and investment have been reduced as a result of the unstable oil price.
Basra Oil Company (BOC) Acting Director General, Mr Khalid Hamza Abbas, said: “We are delighted to recognise this important moment – a testimony to the success of the ROO Partnership. 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 General Manager, Orkhan Guliyev, said: “Reaching this milestone is a positive outcome that demonstrates our ability to perform while transforming. Our Iraqi workforce together with bp and PetroChina’s specialists have worked together as one team, striving to achieve the common goal of delivering exceptionally high oil production rates for Iraq. Our relentless focus on safety has meant that we have been able to carry out our work while following stringent distancing and hygiene precautions. Everybody at Rumaila can take great pride in what has been achieved for the nation.”
Responsible for around a third of the country’s total oil production, Rumaila is Iraq’s greatest single source of revenue. The oilfield also makes a significant contribution to the local economy and society: some 94% of the Rumaila workforce are Iraqi and around $5.8 billion of contracts have been awarded to 185 Iraqi companies since 2010, covering 630 contracts – supporting tens of thousands of local jobs. ROO also provides support to local communities: more than 30 projects have been delivered by the Rumaila Social Welfare Fund including a CT scanner provided to Al-Sadir Teaching Hospital, Basra; new health clinics constructed; potable water piped to homes; training schemes set up; and new roads built.
In the last decade, daily oil production has increased almost 40%: from 1.066 million barrels per day (bpd) in December 2009 to up to 1.5 million bpd in recent years. Maximising production from reservoirs with low or declining pressure has become a key focus to sustain production. One of the world’s largest water injection programmes is underway to enable this, with some 1.45 million bpd of water injected each day – up from less than 60,000 barrels a decade ago.
ROO’s long-term strategy to transform the field has involved the introduction of world-class technologies, processes and procedures; the expansion of drilling and maximisation of well efficiency; the development of new skills for the workforce; and the prioritisation of safety. Outcomes have included:
ROO Deputy General Manager, Hussein Abdul Khadim Hussein, adds: “In such a tough year for everyone, reaching this landmark feels doubly significant. This has seen us not only continue to maximise oil from Rumaila’s mature reservoir, we have also been able to produce oil from reservoirs which historically had proved difficult to access. We are overcoming the geological challenges of Rumaila’s changing reservoirs, which bodes well for the field’s long-term future. I would like to say how much I appreciate the remarkable efforts of our national staff in delivering this achievement, despite the adverse conditions. They have proved once again their ability and dedication to attain goals under any circumstances.”
Rumaila Special Deputy General Manager, Fan Jianping, added: “Producing five billion barrels is a significant landmark, but we take great pride in the fact that we have achieved this within a safe working environment, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We of course want to increase production, but equally we want Rumaila to be the pride of Iraq, which can only be achieved by having safety as the number one priority.”
Basra Oil Company (BOC), through the operator of Rumaila oilfield, announces the completion of the installation and training on a computed tomography (CT) Scanner for the Basra Directorate of Health, Al-Sadir Teaching Hospital (Basra Centre for Radiation Therapy). The unit enhances the Centre’s capacity to diagnose conditions such as strokes, cancers, damage to bones, injuries to internal organs and problems with blood flow. The SIEMENS CT scanner is also a world-class diagnostic tool for detecting COVID-19 coronavirus cases.
The CT scanner is a medical imaging machine that uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed scans of inside the body from different angles, producing cross-sectional (tomographic) images. The unit will be used in tandem with the linear accelerator (LINAC) machine used for radiation treatments to provide cancer care for patients.
The installation of the unit was undertaken by Iraqi healthcare specialists, ALITKAN, official partner of SIEMENS Healthineers in Iraq; the selection of an Iraqi supplier will help ensure future availability of parts, ongoing maintenance, and the Centre staff training. As part of the project, the Basra Centre for Radiation Therapy Iraqi radiographers are being specially trained to operate the scanner.
The introduction of the unit, believed to be the most advanced CT scanner in Iraq, was made possible thanks to the Rumaila Social Welfare Fund (SWF), a fund established to address the most pressing needs of residents that live in and around the Rumaila oilfield. To date, tens of thousands of people have directly benefitted from SWF initiatives that focus on four key areas: healthcare, education, water projects, and critical infrastructure. The SWF is delivered by the Rumaila Operating Organization (ROO) which manages the oilfield – the largest of the Basra Oil Company’s fields and the second largest producing oilfield in the world.
Doctor Sina’a Sagir, the manager of the Basra Centre for Radiation Therapy said: “As well as playing an integral part in our treatment of cancer and stroke patients, this equipment is a vital tool in our battle to identify patients with COVID-19 and to tackle the pandemic.”
Deputy Rumaila General Manager, Mr Hussein Abdul-Khadim Hussein, added: “Rumaila is delighted to be able to assist the Basra Centre for Radiation Therapy and its patients from Basra and the southern region to receive world-class diagnostic treatment. This is a much-needed piece of equipment for the hospital and we hope it results in improving patient care and the lives of many Basrawis.”
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.”