South Korean consortium to explore Iraqi Kurdistan oilfield The Korea National Oil Corporation has secured an oilfield.
South Korean consortium led by the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) has secured an oilfield with an estimated deposit of over 500 million barrels in Kurdistan autonomous region in 'northern Iraq'.
According to KNOC Sunday, the consortium signed a contract in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan-Iraq, on exploration and production sharing of the Bazian oilfield with the Kurdistan Regional Government in the northeastern part of the Middle East country.
With the first-ever deal in Iraq, South Korea expects to set up a bridgehead to advance into the war-devastated country, which boasts the world's second-largest oil deposits.
Beside KNOC, which holds a 38-percent stake, several private energy development firms including, among others, SK Energy (19 percent) and Daesung, Samchully, Beuma (9.5 percent wach respectively) took part in the project.
Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) has secured an oilfield with an estimated deposit of over 500 million barrels in Kurdistan autonomous region in 'northern Iraq'.
Seated in the Zagros basin, the Bazian oilfield is located southeast of Irbil, where South Korean rehabilitation forces are stationed. South Korea deployed thousands of soldiers, largely medics and engineers, as part of the U.S.-led coalition in the Gulf country since 2004.
In January, KNOC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kurdistan Regional Government and implemented technical evaluations in a dozen exploratory oilfields there.
KNOC officials said the consortium would sign a contract among participating companies for the joint operation of the oilfield by the end of this year and set up an office there to make preparations for future exploration.
Currently, they added, the Bazian oilfield is estimated to have more than 500 million barrels of crude oil. But a more exact deposit will be calculated through future exploration activities scheduled up until 2010.
``We hope that we could secure a crucial bridgehead to advance into Iraq, which has the second-largest oil deposits, with the signing of the production sharing contract,'' a KNOC spokesman said.
In the meantime, the Kurdistan Regional Government has been actively pushing for oil exploration projects. It struck seven new petroleum contracts with firms from the United States, Britain and India and also approved five existing contracts last week.
The Associated Press : February 14, 2008
Kurdish prime minister says new South Korean energy deal constitutional
The visiting head of Iraq's Kurdistan regional government said that a new energy project signed Thursday with South Korean companies does not violate Iraq's basic law.
"It was within the constitutional rights," Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told reporters.
Iraq's parliament has been locked in a dispute over who has the final say in managing the Middle Eastern country's oil and gas fields. The disagreement has delayed passage of a national oil and gas law designed to regulate foreign investment.
Frustrated with the delay, the Kurds have signed more than a dozen contracts with international oil companies that Iraq's Oil Ministry considers illegal.
The Iraqi federal government suspended crude oil exports to SK Energy Co. from the beginning of January on grounds that South Korean companies had not abandoned a deal they signed with the Kurdistan administration to develop a disputed oil field.
2008年 01月 29日 ロイター
Earlier Thursday, a group of South Korean companies led by Korea National Oil Corp. signed an initial agreement with the Kurdistan authority to develop energy projects.
Under the deal, a consortium led by KNOC will have the right to explore and develop four oil fields in the Kurdistan region, said a KNOC official who spoke to Dow Jones Newswires on condition of anonymity. The fields are expected to have reserves of 1 billion to 2 billion barrels.
The agreement signed Thursday also calls for a separate consortium to participate in projects to develop social infrastructure in the Kurdish region, the state-run oil developer said in a statement.
Barzani said that he wants Iraq's central government to reconsider its decision to halt oil supplies to South Korea.
"We will work with Baghdad to solve this problem," Barzani said. He said he will visit Baghdad after returning to Iraq from Seoul.
In early November, KNOC said that it and other South Korean companies signed a production-sharing contract with the Kurdistan government to explore the onshore Bazian oil field over the next three years. The field has estimated reserves of 500 million barrels.
Iraq's oil ministry earlier this month said the country had halted oil exports to Austria's OMV AG, the leading oil and gas group in central Europe, to protest an oil deal with the Kurdish regional administration.
During a meeting early Thursday, South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak asked Barzani for more cooperation in expansion of oil development by South Korean companies in the Kurdish region.
Barzani said he would try to give priority to South Korean companies because the regional government needs their expertise and experience.