Q&A: Jumaha Sheyah al-Maliki, Director of Water Resources in Basra

Iraq's natural waterways have little spare supply for oil fields that need more water injection to sustain reservoir pressure and hit higher production targets.
Jumaha Sheyah al-Maliki, director of water resources in Basra, at his office in June 2023. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - Iraq’s southern oil fields need large amounts of water to maintain reservoir pressure and avoid production declines.

The volumes required vary from field to field, according to Jumaha Sheyah al-Maliki, Director of Water Resources in the southern Basra Province, who spoke with Iraq Oil Report at his office in Basra.

He said the Ministry of Water has allocated 7,000 liters per second of water from the Shatt al-Arab waterway and tributaries but not all the allocation is being used by the oil companies operating the giant oil fields in southern Iraq.

Water demand from those fields is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. As oil companies push giant oil fields toward their contracted production targets — which would raise the country's overall oil production capacity from just over 5 million bpd now to 8 million bpd by the end of the decade — they will need several extra million barrels of water per day for injection into reservoirs.

Iraq is not expecting its waterways to meet that new demand, Maliki said. Rather, southern oil fields will get their water via the Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP), part of the package of contracts awarded to TotalEnergies.

A full transcript of the interview is available below to Iraq Oil Report subscribers.

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