Could you offer us an assessment of the company’s main achievements in 2014? 2014 was an exciting year for us. We continued to grow our upstream business. In May, we signed a production sharing agreement with the Nineveh Governorate to explore and produce oil and gas in the Mahkmour area. We are excited to rapidly implement this in 2015 with three well work-overs and a seismic program. We assisted the MNR in bringing important fields back online after ISIS caused problems in northern Iraq. In our midstream business, we sustained pipeline flows to meet the MNR goal of 400,000 bpd of exports by the end of 2014. We linked the Bai Hasan and Avana fields to Kurdistan’s pipeline network. In 2015, we will rapidly expand the system with new field tie-ins, pump stations, and the addition of a 36-inch line between Khurmala and the Zab River. In the downstream business, we commissioned our 640-MW power plant, and we made great progress on a 60,000-bpd refinery for Nineveh. We hope to finish the Nineveh Refinery in Q4 2015. This will bring important fuels to the area once it is stabilized.
What sort of production do you see the Khurmala field potentially having? We currently produce 105,000 bpd from Khurmala. We started installation of a new 100,000 bpd processing facility. This will be online by mid-2015. We are piloting a water injection project now that will allow us to sustain 175,000 plus barrels of oil production for many years. We have started to explore deeper horizons of the subsurface at Khurmala, and we have found additional oil and gas plays. We are evaluating that data and expect to produce gas and condensate from the Upper Qamchuqa in the near term.
How would you assess the role of KAR’s Erbil Refinery in Kurdistan’s energy market? Our refinery is vital for the economy of Kurdistan. When Beiji Refinery was attacked by the enemy this year, we saw Kurdistan affected by lack of fuel deliveries. We must be self-sufficient, and the goal of the KRG is to be self-sufficient. So we continue to grow our refinery to meet the demand. We are currently at 100,000 bpd. A 20,000 bpd condensate plant will be commissioned in 2015. We will add another 60,000 bpd of refining capacity in the next 24 months. Kurdistan became self-sufficient in jet fuel this year. That was an exciting step.
Could you brief our readers on the progress of KAR's power generation and distribution project? We commissioned our power plant and the 400 KV substation in 2014. We have not been fully operational due to fuel supply, but I am happy that the gas sweetening plant at Khurmala is currently in commissioning and should provide gas to our power plant before the end of 2014. In May, we signed an export credit facility with German Hermes and Commerzbank to purchase an additional two turbines. So when we add these and our combined cycle phase, we will be a 1.2-GW power plant.
The KRG has ambitious plans to become an energy provider to Western markets in the long term. How would you describe the future of Kurdistan as an energy provider to Western markets, and the KAR Group’s contribution to the realization of this target? We like targets, and thus far we have been able to meet them. The pipeline system must be expanded rapidly to meet these goals, and we are working hard to do so. The pipeline continues to deliver crude to international markets via the port in Ceyhan, and we do not have disruptions due to the lack of a market. These are all positive things. I feel strongly that infrastructure and crude availability for export will be on target.