Q&A: Ali Yousif Zaboon, director of field operations at West Qurna 1

Production capacity at the West Qurna 1 oil field is set to increase to 600,000 bpd in 2023 despite operator ExxonMobil’s planned exit.
Ali Yousif Zaboon, director of field operations commission at West Qurna 1, in October 2022. (JASSIM AL-JABIRI/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - ExxonMobil has started the process of handing over operations at the West Qurna 1 oil field to its consortium partner, CNPC, in preparation for its exit from the supergiant field.

The U.S. major’s decision to sell its stake in West Qurna 1 as operator has been pending for over a year as discussions have continued with the Ministry of Oil over the proposed sale of Exxon’s 32.7 percent stake in the consortium developing West Qurna 1.

In an interview with Iraq Oil Report, Director of Field Operations Commission Ali Yousif Zaboon said that after a transitional period of three to six months, PetroChina would become the main contractor in the consortium and parent company CNPC had already beefed up its staff in preparation for the handover.

The field is currently capable of producing 550,000 bpd of crude oil and there are plans to increase capacity to 600,000 bpd by the end of 2023 and to 800,000 bpd by 2026. Hitting that level will require between 1 and 1.2 million bpd of water for injection into reservoirs.

A full transcript of the interview is available below for subscribers.

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