Iraq to increase Basra oil output, export capacity by end of 2019
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq plans to raise output from Basra's Majnoon oilfield by an additional 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2019 and 210,000 bpd by the end of 2021.
This is a substantial increase from its current rate of 240,000 bpd, the director of the state-run Basra Oil Company Ihsan Abdul-Jabar said on Friday.
Abdul-Jabar's statements came during an interview with Reuters, in which he said that oil exports from Iraq's south had dropped to just below 3.6 million bpd so far in January after a record high of 3.63 million in December.
In compliance with an agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and additional non-member states such as Russia, known together as OPEC+, Iraq has agreed to cut annual oil production.
As part of the new OPEC+ agreement, OPEC members are required to cut annual production by a combined 800,000 bpd and the non-OPEC members, namely Russia, have to make a total reduction of 400,000 bpd.
Iraq is OPEC's second-largest producer and currently has an output below its maximum capacity of nearly 5 million bpd.
Baghdad is reportedly aiming to increase the capacity of the country's southern oilfields. According to Abdul-Jabbar, Iraq is planning to pilot a new offshore pipeline with a carrying capacity of 700,000 bpd by the end of 2019.
The central government has approved $7 billion USD to develop five major oilfields in Basra Province, around ten percent of which would be dedicated to Majnoon field.
Last week, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban confirmed his country's commitment to the OPEC+ deal to bolster petroleum prices and "restore balance between supply and demand" in the market.
Editing by John J. Catherine