Iraq's oil output up; may top 2013 target
Baghdad, August 7, 2013
Iraq's crude oil production rose to 3.250 million barrels per day (bpd) at the beginning of August from 2.942 million bpd a year earlier, an oil ministry official said, indicating it could exceed its output target for end-2013.
The Opec member state expects production to increase by another 400,000 bpd by the end of the year thanks to the start up of the Shell-operated Majnoon field and other smaller sources, ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said on Wednesday.
"Production from the Majnoon oil field should start in October," Jihad said. The oil minister had previously given July as the start date.
The government has set an output target of 3.4 million bpd for end-2013, down from an initial 3.7 million bpd.
After flatlining for years due to wars and sanctions, Iraq's output began to rise in 2010 after it secured service contracts with large oil groups such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell , Eni and Exxon Mobil.
Since then, output has risen by 600,000 bpd to over 3 million bpd thanks to higher flows from large southern fields - Rumaila, West Qurna-1 and Zubair.
To continue its production increases, Iraq will need to start up more southern oilfields such as Majnoon and West Qurna-2, run by Russia's Lukoil. Garraf, also in the south, and Badra - farther north - will also contribute. - Reuters