MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iraq's Gharraf oil field has restarted production at a rate of 50,000 b/d after output was suspended in mid-March as part of measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a Japan Petroleum Exploration spokesman told S&P Global.
Production was restarted July 21 after Malaysia's Petronas, the operator of the field in southern Iraq, dispatched personnel to the oil field in southern Iraq in mid-June, according to the Japex spokesman.
News of the Gharraf oil field restart came to light after OPEC+ members on July 15 pared back their production cut commitment. The 23-country coalition enacted a 9.7 million b/d output cut accord in May in response to the coronavirus crisis and will roll the deal back to 7.7 million b/d in August through to the end of the year, maintaining the terms of the agreement laid out in April.
Production at the Gharraf oil field was suspended on March 16 after Baghdad closed all airports as part of its measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The field produced an average of 75,000 b/d over January-March, the Japex spokesman said July 20.
The Gharraf field started production in August 2013 under a technical service contract with Iraq's South Oil Co. The consortium consists of Petronas with a 45% stake, Japex Garraf with 30% and North Oil Co. with 25%. Japex holds a 55% stake in Japex Garraf with state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. holding 35% and Mitsubishi 10%.
As MRC wrote before, in early May, 2020, Petronas Chemicals (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia’s leading petrochemicals player, reported a drop in first-quarter sales and earnings citing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The sharp decline in petrochemical product prices following the outbreak of COVID-19, the deepening industry downcycle as crude oil prices collapsed due to the OPEC+ fallout, and the recessionary global economic outlook have hurt results, the company says.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 595,170 tonnes in the first five month of 2020, up by 10% year on year. Deliveries of all ethylene polymers, except for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), rose partially because of an increase in capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.