EIA: Iraqi crude oil production reached highest level in decades

Iraqi oil production surpassed an estimated 3 million b/d in July—the highest level since the end of the Gulf War in 1990, according to a recent report from the US Energy Information Administration.

“Increased investment in Iraq's petroleum industry and export infrastructure underpin these production gains,” EIA said. Many factors—including pipeline bottlenecks, export capacity limitations, and security issues—still may limit and constrain the Iraqi oil industry from reaching its full production potential. “Alleviation of these constraints could enable Iraqi oil production and exports to reach record-high levels in the near future,” EIA said.

Iraqi oil production rebounded after 2005, the agency reported. In recent years, production in previously developed fields such as Rumaila and West Qurna has increased. New upstream investments, meanwhile, are boosting output further. In June, Halfaya oil field came online, increasing total Iraqi production by an estimated 70,000 b/d, with the potential to produce as much as 535,000 b/d (OGJ Online, June 27, 2012).

“With existing fields like Rumaila and West Qurna and new production coming online in Halfaya, Iraqi production has the potential to exceed 4 million b/d,” EIA said.

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