Ihsan Ismaael, the Oil Minister of Iraq, has told the Iraqi News Agency that the government now hopes to raise oil production to eight million barrels per day (bpd) by 2027, which would further secure its place as OPEC’s second-largest oil producer.
To put this into context, Iraq’s current capacity is about five million bpd, and the new goal goes a step further than Ismaael’s previous announcement that the country was targeting a capacity of seven million bpd by 2027.
Oil production in Iraq has yet to truly mature, despite having the fifth-largest oil reserves in the world, due to disruption from war, sanctions and an aging infrastructure. More recently, companies like BP, the maker of the Castrol passenger car engine oil range, have brought technology and expertise to the country to help redevelop resources like the Rumaila and Kirkuk fields.
Nevertheless, Iraq’s plans in the near term will be constrained by its participation in the OPEC+ deal for restricting production. The country is already pumping considerably less than its current capacity as a result.
Iraq’s quota will gradually rise, however, enabling it to explore production increases. Its current quota is 4.016 million bpd, but this will now rise as the OPEC+ group allows total production to increase by 400,000 bpd every month this year.
Iraq was also one of the five countries that managed to negotiate higher baseline quotas from May next year, a move that was brought about to resolve a deadlock with the United Arab Emirates.