South Oil Company (SOC)

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Role

With production output of just over 2 million barrels per day (bpd) as of January 2012, Iraq's state-run South Oil Company (SOC) is one of the biggest producers in the world and, according to Iraq Oil Report, it is the dominant company in Iraq.[1]

The Basra-based company is run as an autonomous company with its own management structure which, according to the Baker Institute, increasingly responds to regional leadership.[2] It has operatorship of Iraq's southern fields, including its biggest producing field the Rumaila field.[3] Other key fields include Zubair, Majnoon, West Qurna and Luhais.

The company plays a key role in expanding export infrastructure in order to support the production growth it hired the international oil companies (IOCs) to create. As of 2012 the SOC was progressing with plans to fix single-point moorings (SPMs), complete metering stations and pipelines in order to ease exports, with plans to repair and upgrade the existing al-Basra oil terminal (ABOT) to increase capacity as a second phase.[4]

In 2006 the SOC had a staff of 14,200 employees[5] and as of early 2012 was headed up by Dhia Jaffar.[6]

History

During the 1970s the SOC was a subsidiary of the Iraq National Oil Company (INOC).[7] It grew throughout the 1970s as Iraq's oil industry expanded, reaching peak production levels of 2.75 bpd of oil.[8]

The company's operations were badly damaged in the war of 1991 and again in the war of 2003. But by early 2004 SOC had managed to restore production of over two million bpd.[9]

In July 2005 the General Union of Oil Employees, which comprises thousands of workers from the SOC, went on a 24-hour strike, demanding that a larger share of oil revenues be sent back to their local economy, after the governor of Basra Mohammed Mosbeh Al-Waeli called for the central government to give a fair share of oil money to his region.[10]

In 2008, as plans for expansion of the Iraqi oil industry proceeded, the Maysan Oil Company was spun off from South Oil Company.[11]

Company director Fayad al-Nema was removed from his post in July 2009 in what the government said was "restructuring"; however according to the Arabian Oil and Gas website, it was widely believed that Nema was sacked because he opposed the auctions of service contracts in Iraqi fields to international oil companies (IOCs).[12]

External Links

Official Website: www.soc-basrah.com

References

  1. "Q&A: South Oil Co. chief Dhia Jaffar", Iraq Oil Report, 15 February 2012.
  2. "Iraq's Oil Sector: Issues and Opportunities", James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy, December 2006.
  3. "Exploration and Production: Business Report Iraq", BP Magazine, 2010.
  4. "Q&A: South Oil Co. chief Dhia Jaffar", Iraq Oil Report, 15 February 2012.
  5. "Iraq's Oil Sector: Issues and Opportunities", James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy, December 2006.
  6. "Q&A: South Oil Co. chief Dhia Jaffar", Iraq Oil Report, 15 February 2012.
  7. "South Oil Company", Oil Voice, retrieved 10 January 2013.
  8. "About the Company", South Oil Company, retrieved 6 January 2012.
  9. "About the Company", South Oil Company website, retrieved 6 January 2012.
  10. "Iraq's Oil Sector: Issues and Opportunities", James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy, December 2006.
  11. "New Iraq oil firm aims to triple production in Maysan" Reuters, 28 June 2008.
  12. "Iraq Oil Ministry fires South Oil Company chief", Arabian Oil and Gas, 30 July 2009.