Q&A: Basra Oil Company Deputy Director General Khalid Hamza Abbas

A top Basra oil leader reveals which fields are being cut under the new OPEC-plus deal and discusses how Iraq's financial squeeze is affecting BOC projects and planning.
Khalid Hamza Abbas, deputy director general of the Basra Oil Company in his Basra office on May 4, 2020, was been given the authority to run the company on Sept. 19, 2020. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - As Iraq moves to comply with an agreement among OPEC and other major producers to reduce oil output and prop up global prices, the state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC) is responsible for managing the majority of the country's reductions.

Some cuts have already begun, but there is more to be done, especially in coordinating production cuts with the foreign oil companies that operate most of Iraq's largest fields.

Another immediate challenge has been to reduce crude output without cutting into the supplies of associated gas that provide feedstock for power stations.

Because of a severe financial crisis triggered by low oil prices, BOC also has to cut costs. The company has cut its 2020 drilling plan in half, and it has cancelled or paused most projects that were not already close to completion.

As BOC's deputy director general for fields and licensing rounds, Khalid Hamza Abbas is at the center of BOC's response to these challenges. He spoke with Iraq Oil Report at his office in Basra.

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