Discovered in 1978, the Taq Taq field has gone a long way in its development to become one of Addax Petroleum's most promising assets. In 2014, it contributed on its own to nearly 30% of the Company’s overall production.
When Addax Petroleum became part of the picture
In 2004, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) awarded a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the Taq Taq block to the Turkish company Genel Energy with a 100% participating interest share to appraise and develop the field. Addax Petroleum farmed into the block in 2005, acquiring a 30% participating interest, and in 2006 signed a shareholders agreement with Genel Energy which led to the formation of Taq Taq Operating Company Limited (TTOPCO). Also in 2006, Genel Energy and Addax Petroleum entered into a Joint Operating Agreement.
Addax Petroleum was mandated to perform all technical work for the appraisal campaign and to deliver a Field Development Plan. In 2006 - 2007, seismic data (2D and 3D) were acquired, and six appraisal wells were drilled, tested, and completed. In 2007, Addax Petroleum increased its participating interest to 45%. The Field Development Plan was submitted in 2009, and formally approved the same year by the KRG.
In 2008 Genel Energy and Addax Petroleum executed a revised PSA with the KRG and, following first oil in 2009, the KRG backed into the PSA in 2010 taking a 20% fully-carried participating interest. The KRG’s entry into the PSA reduced Genel Energy’s and Addax Petroleum’s interests to respectively 44% and 36%.
An Early Production Facility (EPF) with a 40,000 bopd capacity was leased in 2009 and three of the appraisal wells were hooked up allowing production to start. The crude oil was exported by road tankers to a local market. A Central Processing Facility (CPF) was then constructed and commissioned, replacing the EPF and bringing process capacity to 75,000 bopd with six appraisal wells producing. A tanker loading station (TLS) was constructed approximately 10 kilometres away from the CPF, linked by a newly constructed 18-inch trunk line, increasing the loading capacity to 80,000 bopd.
Development drilling started in 2011 and as more wells became available for tie-in, it was necessary to lease a temporary production facility (TPF), increasing processing capacity to 105,000 bopd. In 2011, under instructions from KRG, oil was exported via the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP) by trucking oil to Khurmala (near the Kurdistan-Iraq border) and to Fayshkabur (near the Kurdistan-Turkey border), where oil was put into the pipeline. The oil was then exported to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan where it was sold to the international market.
Various export options
Following debottlenecking of CPF/TPF in 2013, the total processing capacity was increased from 105,000 to 120,000 bopd. The road tanker loading station was upgraded from 80,000 to 150,000 bopd and a 20-inch export pipeline was constructed by the KAR Group connecting Taq Taq to Khurmala with a capacity of 150,000 bopd. Also in 2013, construction started on a second central production facility (CPF-2), to raise the processing capacity to over 200,000 bopd.
Towards the end of 2013, international exports resumed with oil transported by road tanker to Zakho near to the Turkish border, where it was transferred to other tankers and transported by road to Ceyhan. The KRG also started construction of additional pipeline sections within Kurdistan connecting Khurmala to Fayshkabur, linking them to the pipeline section of ITP within Turkey and enabling export to the Ceyhan port.
In 2014, the KRG started exporting through the pipeline and selling oil to the international market. In order to accommodate the increase in export capacity, the processing capacity was increased from 120,000 bopd to 140,000 bopd by leasing stand-alone wellsite facilities at three of the well locations. This allowed the field to reach a new production record of 142,557 bopd in March 2015.
70-ton H2S stripping tower transported from California to Taq Taq
An H2S stripping tower (which will form part of the TPF-2 mentioned below) was transported early March 2015 from Bakersfield, California to the Taq Taq field. This was an operation that many believed simply impossible due the sheer size and especially the length of the cargo (38.4 m x 3.7 m x 3.7 m) and the fact that it needed to be transported in one single piece. The transporter however rose to the challenge, using an Antonov AN-124 aircraft and engineering expertise to meet the complex logistics requirements of the job.
In 2015, the production at Taq Taq is expected to increase to around 150,000 bopd following commissioning of a second temporary production facility (TPF-2) in April 2015, the hook-up of wells TT-23 and TT-24, and the opening up of wells TT-07 and TT-10z. The production level is expected to remain constant for the remainder of 2015, constrained by the maximum process capacity and the export quota.