Genel working to debottleneck Iraq Taq Taq oil output

Taq Taq field, in central Iraq 50 miles east-southeast of Erbil, is the Kurdistan region’s largest oil producing field, notes operator Genel Energy PLC.

Proved and probable reserves total 607 million bbl of the currently estimated 1.7 billion bbl of oil in place, and the field is delivering 80,000-100,000 b/d, all of it by truck for the moment. Production averaged 75,500 b/d in 2012 compared with 66,000 b/d in 2011.

Work is under way to hike Taq Taq production capacity to 200,000 b/d in 2014 from the present 120,000 b/d with addition of a second central production facility.

Twelve wells are producing. The Taq Taq-18 development well reached total depth in January 2013, and three more development wells are to be drilled in 2013. The wells already drilled are capable of supporting 200,000 b/d of output.

The 951 sq km Taq Taq license, in the Zagros basin 37 miles northeast of supergiant Kirkuk oil field, remains lightly explored.

The TT-22 Taq Taq Deep exploratory well that targets a gross unrisked resource of 250 million bbl of oil equivalent in Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs is due to spud shortly. Projected total depth is 5,400 m. The Jurassic-Triassic interval tested gas from a well drilled in the mid-1970s at Taq Taq.

The field is covered by good quality 3D seismic data, but sectors to the northwest and southeast are undrilled or sparsely drilled.

Genel Energy is comfortable estimating a recovery factor of 30-40%, and it believes that ultimate recovery from Taq Taq field could reach 1 billion bbl.

Four oil-bearing zones have been discovered in Taq Taq field, one in the Oligocene Pilaspi formation and three in the Upper Cretaceous Shiranish, Kometan, and Qamchuqa formations. The Pilaspi oil is relatively heavy at 24° gravity, while the Cretaceous reservoirs contain 48° gravity crude with a very low gas-to-oil ratio.

More than 400 trucks a day move crude oil from Taq Taq field, which is the bottleneck to increasing production. Oil for export is trucked 85 miles to Khurmala (Erbil) or 160 miles to Fishkabur, close to the borders with Turkey and Syria, where it is metered and pumped into the pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan, Turkey, on the Black Sea. Trucks lift crude allocated locally directly from the field.

Kurdistan Regional Government plans call for construction of a 1 million b/d capacity pipeline to the Turkish border. The first phase, a 20-in. line to directly connect Taq Taq to the Erbil refinery and the existing Kirkuk-Ceyhan export infrastructure, is nearly complete and expected go in service by mid-2013.

The second phase, a 40-in., 1 million b/d pipeline linking Kurdistan region oil fields directly to Fishkabur, is expected to begin operating by 2014.

Meanwhile, truck loading capacity from Taq Taq is expected to increase to 150,000 b/d by the third quarter of 2013.

Genel Energy and Addax Petroleum, part of China’s Sinopec Group, hold 44% and 36% working interests, respectively, in the Taq Taq PSC. The KRG holds 20% and is carried, bringing Genel Energy and Addax Petroleum effective paying interests to 55% and 45%, respectively.

Genel Energy also has a 25% working interest in Tawke oil field, the Kurdistan region’s second largest producing oil field and of similar size as Taq Taq, in far northwestern Iraq operated by DNO International Inc. (OGJ, Feb. 6, 2012, p. 48).

Genel Energy additionally has the entire 100% working interest in the Miran block just southeast of Taq Taq. The Miran West discovery has been producing 2,000-3,000 b/d of Lower Cretaceous on early well test since January 2013. The company’s nearby Miran gas-condensate discovery has an estimated 10.5 tcf of gas in place and is expected to be on production in the 2015-16 winter.

A 30-in., 600 MMscfd pipeline from Khurmala to Dohuk could help the company access Turkish gas markets pending negotiation of sales agreements.

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