AMMAN, Aug 3, (KUNA): Kuwait and Iraq have signed in the Jordanian capital of Amman a contract for conducting a technical study for joint frontier oilfields. Both neighboring countries have picked British energy advisory firm ERC Equipoise (ERCE) to determine the optimal way to invest and tap their shared oilfields.
The contract was inked by Acting Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Oil Sheikh Talal Nasser Al-Sabah and the Iraqi Oil Ministry’s petroleum contracts and licensing directorate chief Abdulmahdi Al-Ameedi. Speaking to KUNA following the signing, Sheikh Talal said the agreement came at the behest of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who had instructed the creation of vistas of cooperation with Iraq.
He added that Friday’s contract with the British advisory firm aims at carrying out a technical study to get the most effective way to capitalize on oilfields, expecting the study to be completed in two and a half years at most. On the British company, he said pursuant to the contract, it would conduct studies on border oilfields between Kuwait and Iraq, and technical and legal mechanisms for tapping and investing these oilfields.
The Kuwaiti official spoke highly of the contract as the “fruit of six years of efforts exerted by both countries’ working teams.” On scheduled meetings by both sides and the British advisory firm on Saturday, he said these technical meetings are mainly intended to mull the scope and mechanisms of working in shared frontier oilfields.
On his part, Iraqi Oil Ministry’s petroleum contracts and licensing directorate chief Abdulmahdi Al- Ameedi said the meetings would be a significant step towards the determination of the optimum means to capitalize on joint oilfields. Speaking to KUNA, the Iraqi official said the available exploitation options include the sole operator, national or foreign companies in both countries as per the agreement.
Upbeat about the deal, Al-Ameedi said thanks to it, both sides would usher in a fresh stage of closer relations, especially in view of joint oil production, with both neighbors’ sovereignty and interests to be kept intact. Also speaking to KUNA, Spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry Isam Jihad commended the agreement as an “unprecedented and significant step”, saying that the British advisory firm was selected from among four multinationals.
He elaborated that the contract states that the firm would carry out technical studies for Ratqa/Rumaila and Safwan-Abdali oilfields. British energy advisory firm ERC Equipoise (ERCE) is a specialist in oil and gas reservoir evaluation.