BP stands firm on Iraq but coy on Macondo
BP is committed to increasing output from its Iraqi operations but is not prepared to re-negotiate contracts.
The tough-talking statement was made by BP CEO, Bob Dudley, at a recent conference in the UAE and showed a no-compromise approach to the company's activity in the Rumaila oil field.
The field has presented significant challenges for the UK-based oil giant, along with its operating partner CNPC of China, with variable output caused by pressure problems on site, war-damaged infrastructure and global export sanctions against Iraqi products.
However, Dudley stated he was still intent on bringing Rumaila field up to its planned 2017 target of 2.85mb/d and helping Iraq to achieve its stated aim of rivalling oil-producing neighbour, Saudi Arabia.
Although Iraqi authorities have been working to repair infrastructure around the field, relationships between the government and the oil majors still operating in the country were put under strain by comments from the Iraqi oil minister earlier this year stating that production targets may be cut back and contracts re-negotiated. Answering questions at the conference, Bob Dudley made it clear that BP would not be discussing new terms on existing contracts.
Dudley was also quizzed on rumours that BP was close to cutting a deal with US authorities for an out of court settlement over the Macondo well explosion in April last year. However, the CEO remained coy about situation, stating only that BP was continuing to prepare for trial next February while "cooperating with all authorities."