Aspects of Iraqi hydrocarbon explorations: obstacles and prospects upgrading


  • Amjed, A. Mohammed Petroleum Engineering Department, Al-Farabi University College, Baghdad, Iraq



The goal of hydrocarbon exploration is to find hydrocarbon accumulation in commercial
quantities. When studying the proven oil reserves in Iraq (150 billion barrels) and the probable oil
reserves (130 billion barrels) and a proven gas reserves (127 trillion cubic feet) and a probable gas
reserves (275) trillion cubic feet, we find that such figures put on a huge task on future exploration
requirements. The conversion of a large portion of the probable reserve into a proven reserve is a
significant support to firstly to maximize the proven reserve and secondly to further consolidate the
financial and economic situation of Iraq. The only way to do this is through a steady increase in
drilling exploration wells from (2-3) wells annually at present to (10) wells annually at the very
least, noting that the total geological structures are (530) structures, of which only (130) have been
drilled during the last decade. Therefore, the remaining (400) structures in the light of the current
rate, Iraq needs more than (133) years to cover the required drilling .If the number of drilled wells is
increased annually to (10) wells, the period will decrease to (40) years which seems a relatively
reasonable period for significant strengthening of Iraqi hydrocarbon proven reserves before the
possibility of finding alternatives to this energy in the future .This study focuses on selecting the
preferred structures to be drilled depending on the different geological parameters such as minimum
rate of risk, dimensions of structures, probable oil API and their total reserves. The study highlights
some of the preferred structures for the location of exploratory wells by determining the different
possible geological periods with high oil potential. according to tectonic division adapted by the
Exploration Oil Company The study also suggests a few structures that are expected to be future
giant reservoirs either by deeper drilling of the existing oil fields, taking into account the results of
the latest exploration drilling in neighboring countries or in the deeper reservoirs of the inverted
structures, besides revaluating some Iraq Oil Company (IPC) wells which suffer from the problem of
old methods.


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