Discovered in 1953, the Rumaila oil field spans a vast area of 1,600 km² by extending from north to south for approximately 80 km and from west to east for 20 km.
Situated up to 4 km-deep beneath the surface, the Rumaila reservoirs comprise sandstone and carbonate formations of Cretaceous age.
Rumaila reportedly holds an estimated 17 billion barrels of oil, which accounts for 12% of Iraq's oil reserves, estimated at 143.1 billion barrels crude oil.
Agreed in 2009 and extended in 2014, this 20-year contract (to 2034) has laid the foundation for the long-term renewal of the field.
Rumaila is operated by Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO), which is composed of BP, CNPC, and the South Oil Company of Iraq.
The ROO partnership has invested more than $12 billion on Rumaila operations by 2019, to upgrade the field infrastructure and ensure consistently high production levels.
Substantial investment has been made to modernise the operation:
- cutting edge technology has been introduced,
- local staff trained,
- facilities refurbished,
- new wells drilled.
Rumaila has been producing for 60 years.
It still has plenty of oil left, but as a mature oilfield, it is much harder to produce than it has been in the past.
The mature old field has also been transformed into one of the most modern oil fields in Iraq that features application of most advanced oil recovery technologies and operates as a digital oil field.
Around 6,800 Iraqis work at Rumaila, aided by a few hundred industry experts from another international companies.
A further 22,000 local people are employed via contractors who support Rumaila’s activities through a large supply chain.
Crude production at Iraq’s giant Rumaila oilfield in 2019 has reached 1.5 million BPD.
Most recently, it has weathered the storm brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the disruption to staff availability, severely impacted supply chains, and international restriction of travel, production remained stable and reached 1.47 million bpd.