The eleventh edition of the Iraq Petroleum Conference taking place on 22-23 May 2017 in London is set to gather the Country’s industry experts to discuss the future of Iraq’s hydrocarbons sector. Ahead of the conference, CWC Group Director Nawar Abdulhadi interviews one of the key speakers of this year’s event, Mr Loris Tealdi, Managing Director, ENI Iraq b.v. Mr Tealdi shares his experience working on the Zubair oilfield, how Eni is working towards innovation and his outlook for the future of the industry.
Nawar Abdulhadi: Why is Iraq such an important market for the global oil and gas industry?
Mr Loris Tealdi: Iraq is historically one of the most important areas in the world in term of oil reserves and production potential. In addition, there may be also future evolutions to improve gas valorisation and empower the downstream sector.
The Iraq reservoirs are of great size and excellent properties. On top the government is quite open to the application of new technology and innovation that can lead to very important results in term of production enhancement also in the short run. Eni has a story to tell here: the exceptional oil production ramp-up of over 70% that we had in giant Zubair field over the last 2 years.
Nawar Abdulhadi: How does the Government of Iraq and the oil and gas industry work together to drive innovation?
Mr Loris Tealdi: The drive for development is the effective deployment of new technology; here the presence of IOCs in the country and the effective know-how transfer from the industry to the brightest Iraqi personnel can be the leverage for a significant improvement from many perspectives. As far as Eni is concerned in Iraq, an important event that marked a new attitude of the country is the entry of SOC as second party in The Zubair JV replacing Occidental after its withdrawal in 2016. This event is a step change in the cooperation between IOCs and NOCs in Iraq and has the potential to strengthen win-win solutions and to further improve the deployment innovative technology In Iraq.
Nawar Abdulhadi: As an industry expert and ENI Iraq Managing Director, how would you summarize your experience working in Iraq?
Mr Loris Tealdi: Working in Iraq requires motivation, resilience, passion for work, technical competence and strong negotiation skills. After 2 years in this role in the Country, I can say that working in Iraq has been a very exciting but extremely challenging professional experience. The relationships and personal trust built by Eni and the SOC/MOO personnel based upon transparency, integrity and technical competence have been the drivers that allow us to grow significantly over last years. The involvement of all the Iraqi and the expatriates as one unique team for the successful development of the Zubair field has been the key. The results have been extremely positive from both an operations and a project development perspective. Also, the project cost recovery has been positive over last period thanks to the cooperation of SOC following their entry in the Zubair JV.
At the beginning of March 2016, three new generation plants for oil, gas and water treatment (Initial Production Facilities – IPF) started operating in Zubair. Those plants, together with existing restructured and modernized facilities, increased the oil and natural gas treatment capacity of Zubair to approximately 650,000 barrels of oil per day (boed) and will ensure the maximization of the associated gas utilization. In addition, these facilities have a water re-injection capacity of approximately 300,000 boed that will boost Zubair’s hydrocarbons production further. In addition, the construction of a further oil treatment plant named DGS North with a capacity of additional 200,000 boed is in full execution.
Over last two years Eni has increased its output in Zubair of about 70% to the current level above 430,000 boed. In addition, water injection rose to about 450,000 bwpd ensuring the maximum recovery of reserves. Zubair can further grow in the near future if the cooperation with the local authorities remains positive as has been over the recent past. Thanks to its distinctive expertise and the important training of local resources, Eni’s operational efficiency has improved dramatically both in terms of productivity of wells and in terms of drilling and plant management capabilities and reduced downtimes. The significant achievements in the technical and operational performance improvement of Zubair were obtained through excellent performance in terms of safety at work and respect for the environment.
Unitary production costs have more than halved since the entrance in the project in 2010 making Eni top performers in the country, as recognized by the Iraqi authorities. Eni has been very attentive to the development of local resources and through relevant training opportunities for the Iraqi work force and achieved also very positive performances on one of our priorities, HSE. One number for all: the 3 IPFs were started up in 2016 with the record of 12 Million hours incident free.
Nawar Abdulhadi: What is the role of ENI Iraq in enhancing projects performance and research?
Mr Loris Tealdi: The plan that had been put in place for the redevelopment of the Zubair field is based on the best innovative solution available and the distinctive competencies of Eni in several areas of technical and managerial expertise.
It had already been realized and successfully put in service in 3 new IPF (production treatment facilities) with a new capacity of 300,000 bopd capacity and the 4th installation named DGS North will be commissioned within the end of the 2017 or other 200,000 bopd additional capacity. These investments will allow reaching the contractual production plateau in advance compared to the current plan with an important benefit for Iraq. All such improvements and start-ups, along with the oil production and water injection growth, will be done with the maximum attention to cost containment.
In the development plan it had also been foreseen the construction of a power plant that will cover part of the energetic needs of the Basra area after meeting the oilfield demand with an important social impact. On top Eni Iraq confirms its commitment to increased investment towards sustainability in Iraq in the coming years, with a focus on the education sector and the renovation of schools in Basra, in which Eni operates, as well as maintaining a high level of technical and operational performance of the Zubair field.
Nawar Abdulhadi: What is your main interest at the Iraq Petroleum 2017 Conference?
Mr Loris Tealdi: Learn the experience of other IOCs operating in Iraq and capture the vision of the Oil ministry over the future of Iraq in the coming years.
Nawar Abdulhadi: What is the outlook for Iraq as a global player in Oil & Gas?
Mr Loris Tealdi: Iraq can be a major player even much more than it is today in the Oil & Gas panorama. The potential to grow is huge.
Mr Loris Tealdi will be speaking at Iraq Petroleum on 22 May 2017 during Session 2: Iraq’s Oil & Gas Operators: the Value of Partnerships in Developing Energy for Iraq’s Future Generations.
About Mr Loris Tealdi
Loris joined Eni in 2001 as Reservoir Engineer and spent most of his career abroad in several countries and positions working in Italy, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Congo. He covered positions as Reservoir Manager, Operations and Deputy General Manager in Nigeria and Congo, Vice President of the Reservoir activities for Africa Region. In 2013 was appointed Vice President for all Reservoir & Petroleum Engineering activities of Eni worldwide. Since May 2015, is the Managing Director of Eni Iraq b.v. managing the development and operations as Lead Contractor of the super-giant Zubair field.