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Iraq to boost oil output above 3 million bpd in 2011

(AFP) / 15 May 2010

DUBAI - Iraq, which last year awarded 10 contracts to oil majors, expects to add 600,000 barrels per day of new oil to boost output to 3.2 million bpd by end 2011, a top official was quoted as saying.

‘We expect to increase production by around 600,000 bpd over the course of this year and next,’ Iraqi deputy oil minister for upstream Abdulkarim Al Laibi told the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) in its edition to appear on Monday.

The country’s current oil output capacity stands at around 2.6 million bpd.

Iraq, which sits on the world’s third largest crude reserves, last year awarded 10 major development contracts to foreign companies in two rounds with the aim of raising output capacity to 12 million bpd by 2017.

‘In general the companies we signed with will make the 10 percent capacity rise for the first round awards and initial production rates for the second round fields within the next two years,’ Laibi said.

The contract for Rumaila, Iraq’s largest oilfield, with BP and China’s CNPC, is expected to add 100,000 bpd by the end of this year, he said, and others will come on stream gradually.

Iraq’s oil ministry is organising a major meeting in July with the international oil companies that won contracts to sort out logistical problems facing them, Laibi said.

The war-torn nation is also working to expand its crude oil export facilities, including pipelines, to handle as much as 10 million bpd from just under two million bpd currently, he said.

Foster Wheeler was working on a plan to expand southern export capacity at the Basra and Khor Al Amaya terminals to 4.5 million bpd from 1.3 million bpd. Now, the company has been asked to raise the capacity to eight million bpd, Laibi told MEES.

Iraq is also working on rehabilitating oil pipelines to Turkey to reach an export capacity of 1.7 million bpd and is considering the possibility of reviving a 200,000-barrels per day pipeline to Syria, Laibi said.

Baghdad also plans to award three non-associated natural gas fields for development in September to raise gas production for power generation.



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