Iraq picks Hyundai E&C for $2.4 billion seawater injection project: state oil company director

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq has selected Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd to build a $2.4 billion seawater injection facility, a project vital to increasing the country’s oil production capacity, the director of the state-run Basra Oil Co said.

Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told reporters late on Sunday that the awarding of the deal to Hyundai E&C still required the final approval of the oil ministry.

The project work should be finished in four years and initially produce 5 million barrels per day (bpd) of water and eventually reach a capacity to produce 7.5 million bpd of water, Abdul Jabbar said.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, needs to inject water into its wells or risk losing pressure and face severe decline rates, especially at its mature oilfields. As freshwater is a scarce resource in Iraq, using treated seawater is one of the best alternatives.

Reporting by Aref Mohammed; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Peter Cooney