Douglas-Westwood conducts comprehensive industry study into Iraq and Kurdistan Drilling and Oilfield Services market 2012-2016
The potential scale of the Iraqi oil sector is unprecedented in modern times, and represents a significant opportunity for the drilling and oilfield service industry. However, limited historical information, coupled with the highly complex political situation make accessing realistic data and market forecasts extremely challenging. This has led Douglas-Westwood to produce its first report on the Iraqi drilling and oilfield services market to aid service companies in reviewing the specific opportunities and risks by service line, in addition to aiding operators to build a view of available supply and capability in the north and south of the country in terms of rig availability and associated services.
The report takes a scenario-based approach to the market with a high growth scenario linked to the ambitious aims of the Iraqi government, and a second, constrained scenario defined by supply chain limitations, infrastructure bottlenecks, and other factors. Market forecasts have been segmented by drilling services area, field, and operators.
In Douglas-Westwood’s constrained scenario, oil production increases to 5mmbpd by 2016 in Iraq and 1mmbpd in the Kurdistan region. In this scenario, 1,500 wells will be required to be drilled by 2016 with limited drilling capability.
Report co-author, Isla Parsons, commented, “Expanding production in the aging super-giant fields in southern Iraq has been the main priority of the Federal Government. As well as projects offering the scale attractive to the IOCs, lifting costs are some of the lowest in the world. However, contract terms and difficult operating conditions have tended to limit the return on investment so far. The national oil & gas infrastructure also remains in poor condition, with massive investment necessary in pipelines, export facilities, water and power supplies.”
In the north of the country, the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan is also attracting interest. While production accounts for less than 5% of total Iraqi production, reserves are significant. Kurdistan’s terms of business have been purposefully designed to attract risk-taking exploration companies, with 50 operators already active in the region.
In southern Iraq, the largest international service companies are undertaking large integrated projects for the oil majors. The Kurdistan region is serviced by a wider variety of companies including regional players, as well as the large service companies, which are gradually moving into the region.
Even in our constrained scenario, drilling expenditure is forecast to grow at a rate of 15% in Iraq from 2012-2016. In order to unlock this potential, significant investment will be required to train personnel, upgrade infrastructure and develop the local supply chain in specific areas such as casing and mud services.