With many Western countries looking for alternatives to Russian oil, it seems that Iraq can boost production by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year if requested.
Hassan Mohammed, a high-level manager at Iraq’s Basra Oil Co. (BOC), said to Reuters in an interview:
“If Iraq is asked to increase production, we can add 200,000 barrels until the end of the year as available production capacity. But [to produce] more than this amount, [we] need more time.”
Mohammed added that this increased production would come from the West Qurna 1 oilfield in southern Iraq and other fields being operated by state-owned companies. West Qurna 1 is estimated to hold some 20 billion barrels in recoverable oil reserves, making it one of the largest oilfields in the world.
It currently produces about 550,000 bpd of crude oil, according to Mohammed. ExxonMobil, the maker of Mobil hydraulic oil and other lubricants, had a 32.7% stake in the field, but it has since agreed to sell this to Indonesia’s Pertamina (10%) and Iraq’s BOC (22.7%).
Iraq currently exports about 3.3 million bpd of crude oil, but Mohammed said its export capacity could be increased by 3 million bpd if some key undersea pipelines and onshore ports are upgraded. He also said that at southern Iraq’s Khor al-Amaya oil terminal, a third oil pipeline with a capacity of a million bpd will come online by the end of 2024, while China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp. has won a contract to construct an energy station at the country’s giant Rumaila oilfield.