Wednesday, May 09, 2018
BASRA, Iraq, May 9 (Reuters) – Iraq lifted oil production at Eni’s Zubair field in the south by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 475,000 bpd, an Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday.
Production rose after the completion of new oil processing facility, Muhannad Abbas, the capacity expansion project director, told Reuters on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch the new installations attended by Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi.
Zubair’s production capacity will rise gradually to 625,000 bpd, as three additional processing facilities are added, Abbas said, without indicating a timeline for completion.
The second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, Iraq has an oil production capacity of nearly 5 million bpd.
Crude output is kept at about 4.45 million bpd, in line with a deal between OPEC and some other non-OPEC producers to curb production in order to bolster crude prices.
The country is also seeking to lift its refining capacity to become self-sufficient in oil products.
The Oil Ministry has asked investors for bids by June 14 to build a 100,000 bpd refinery in Kut, south of Baghdad.
Iraq’s refining capacity was curbed when Islamic State overran its largest oil processing plant in Baiji, north of Baghdad, in 2014.
Iraqi forces recaptured Baiji in 2015 but it sustained heavy damage in the fighting. The country now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad and the Shuaiba plant in the Basra region.
(Reporting by Aref Mohammed Writing by Maher Chmaytelli Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair)
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