Two Kirkuk oil Fields to be fenced following attacks by ISISBy Rudaw [ltr]2 hours ago [/ltr]
The export from Bay Hasan dropped to around 100,000 bpd from earlier 170,000 bpd due to the damage that was inflicted on the oil field in July. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Avana and Bai Hassan oilfields in Kirkuk province are to be fenced in the coming months in a step to upgrade security, following recent attacks by militants.
The Kurdistan Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in collaboration with the Interior Ministry to fence those oil fields, the officials told Rudaw on condition of anonymity.
They said that a 100 km barrier will consist of barbed wire and cement and will cover 11 locations.
A joint security committee from both the MNR and Interior Ministry is finalizing the project, for which three companies -- the Kar Group, Pan and Legas -- are reportedly offering tenders.
Dr. Bewar Khinsi, economic advisor from the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council, told Rudaw that the fencing is crucial to protect oil fields. But he insisted that all oil fields must be protected, not just the two.
“Oil fields from mount Hamreen are located in Kurdish areas. Not much work has been done there. Therefore, the project should cover that area, too,” Khinsi said.
“As long as ISIS reigns, the oil fields in Kirkuk will remain under unprecedented threat,” Khinsi added, believing the oil fields will be better protected by local people if the money for the project goes to them.
The idea of fencing oil fields follows an attack by militants on the Bai Hassan oil field earlier this year. They dismantled an oil production station, costing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) millions of dollars, because it affected oil exploration. Militants also attacked Avana last summer.
The security sources said the project should begin in three months and take nine months to complete, at a cost of $10 million.
Officials from the Kirkuk administration said they were uninformed about the fencing project.
Fuad Kwekha Hussein, member of the Oil and Gas committee at the Kurkuk provincial council, said the committee is not aware of the project.
Dibis district Mayor Abdullah Nuradin also said that no information about the project had been relayed to him.
Shwan Zullal, an energy analyst in the UK, believes that fencing oil fields makes good sense, since militants have frequently made attacked such installations, especially recently, when they targeted the Bai Hassan and Avana oil fields.
“If Kirkuk oil exportation halts for two days, 270,000 barrels per day will be lost, costing the KRG $19 million, assuming the price per barrel of oil at $35. That is why protection is necessary,” he said.
The Bai Hassan oil field has three production stations -- Northern Bai Hassa, Southern Bai Hassan and Dawdgurga. It consists of 196 oil wells.
The Avana oil field has four oil stations: Avana, Jastan, Serbashakh and Saralu. It has 212 oil wells. Both Avana and Bai Hassan export 270,000 bpd through a pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan port.