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QATAR - Al Khaleej.

Al Khaleej, an offshore oilfield near Halul island operated by Elf Aquitaine Qatar, came on stream in March 1997 after five years of exploration and appraisal work and hard bargaining with QGPC. Having started up at the rate of 6,000 b/d, the field is producing 25,000 b/d and has a capacity of 35,000 b/d. Elf is planning to raise the capacity to 80,000 by end-2001. The oil is heavy/sweet, 28 deg. API with about 1% sulphur.

The field's development has involved the installation of an unmanned wellhead platform and a 42-km marine pipeline to the Halul island terminal. The work was done by National Petroleum Construction Co. of Abu Dhabi. Originally, Elf had intended to begin production in January 1997. This was delayed because of a leak in the pipeline. Elf was to drill four more production wells in 1997. In late August 1999 Elf tendered a basic engineering contract for up to four new platforms. These will cost up to $300m and should be installed before end-2001.

Development of the field had been delayed since mid-1991. At the time, Elf sought improved production sharing terms and QGPC was resisting. Finally, after intervention by then Crown Prince Shaikh Hamad, QGPC accepted the French company's terms and a revised PSA was signed. The terms included an increase in the allocation of cost recovery oil to 50% of production, from 30%. But QGPC did not accept key elements of Elf's development programme. The situation only improved after Shaikh Hamad's coup in mid-1995, when QGPC approved Elf's plan.

The field, found in June 1991, lies in Block-6. This is along Qatar's maritime border with Iran, to the east of the North Field. The block was taken by Elf in January 1989. Elf has 55% in the PSA, which is for 25 years plus an optional extension for five years, with the remaining 45% held by Agip. Al Khaleej has a recoverable oil reserve of 70-80m barrels.

Elf continues to explore for oil on Block-6, which is 2,837 sq km. Apart from this venture, Elf has helped in EOR projects for QGPC's offshore oilfields and in the North Field. Elf hopes there might be oil in the domal region of the North Field and adjacent areas to the south. Elf and Sumitomo of Japan have tried to promote one of the LNG project proposals in Qatar, with the gas to be produced from the North Field.
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Sep 6, 1999
Previous Article:QATAR - Al Shaheen.
Next Article:QATAR - Al Rayyan.

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