* Iraq okays 2nd payment for Occidental, Kogas for Zubair
BAGHDAD, Dec 13 (Reuters) - BP Plc received a third payment for its investment in Iraq’s supergiant Rumaila oilfield when a tanker loaded 2 million barrels of light crude at the southern oil hub of Basra on Tuesday, a shipping source said.
The vessel B Elephant started loading on Saturday and finished on Tuesday, the shipping source at the port said.
BP’s partner at Rumaila, China’s CNPC, also received a third payment when the vessel Tenki left Basra port on Dec. 8 carrying two million barrels of Basra light crude, the shipper said.
BP received two payments for the millions of dollars it has invested in Rumaila in May and July. CNPC started to get paid in May.
Rumaila, the workhorse of Iraq’s oil industry, has some 17 billion barrels in estimated crude reserves and usually pumps around 1.2-1.3 million bpd, which is almost half of Iraq’s output.
BP and CNPC are owed more than $1 billion for work at Rumaila over the past year or so, where production has been increasing.
BP and CNPC have been developing the Rumaila field as part of Iraq’s ambitious plans to expand its oil industry to extract the billions of dollars it needs to rebuild tattered infrastructure after years of war and sanctions.
A source at Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) confirmed the payments for Rumaila and said SOMO has also allocated one million barrels of Basra light crude to Occidental Petroleum Corp and South Korea’s KOGAS, divided as 500,000 barrels each, as a second payment for developing Zubair oilfield.
Both Rumaila and Zubair oilfields are among a series of oilfields Iraq auctioned off to international oil firms in 2009 under service agreements, which stipulate that the firms start to be paid and to recover costs once they boost production by 10 percent above an agreed baseline production.