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.
Q&A: Basra Oil Company Deputy Director General Khalid Hamza Abbas
Khalid Hamza Abbas, deputy director general of the Basra Oil Company, in his Basra office on May 4, 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.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.
Iraq Oil Report Attribution Policy

All sources quoted or referenced spoke to Iraq Oil Report directly and exclusively, unless stated otherwise. Iraq Oil Report typically grants anonymity to sources that can't speak without risking their personal safety or job security. We only publish information from anonymous sources that we independently corroborate and are important to core elements of the story. We do not provide anonymity to sources whose purpose is to further personal or political agendas.

Iraq Oil Report Commitment to Independence

Iraq Oil Report strives to provide thoroughly vetted reporting and fair-minded analysis that enables readers to understand the dynamic events of Iraq. To meet this goal, we always seek to gather first-hand information on the ground, verify facts from multiple angles, and solicit input from every stakeholder involved in a given story.

We view our independence as an integral piece of our competitive advantage. Whereas many media entities in Iraq are owned or heavily influenced by political parties, Iraq Oil Report is wholly owned by several of its employees. In a landscape that is often polarized and politicized, we are able to gather and corroborate information from an unusually wide array of sources because we can speak with all of them in good faith.

To fund this enterprise, Iraq Oil Report depends on revenue from both advertising and subscriptions. Some of our advertisers and subscribers ‐ including companies, governments, and NGOs ‐ are also subjects of our reporting. Consistent with journalistic best practices, Iraq Oil Report maintains a strict firewall that removes business considerations from editorial decision-making. When we are choosing which stories to report and how to write them, our readers always come first.