Iraq is pumping more than 2.8 million barrels a day after production started at the Al-Ahdab oil field, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said. Iraq oil production is up over 400,000 barrels per day over last year.
Production from the Al-Ahdab oil field started today (Friday) with 60,000 barrels per day, and that will increase to 120,000 barrels in six months,” said Ahmed Abdul Redha, the official in charge of operations.
Having disappointed last year, when production remained largely flat y/y at 2.4 mb/d, Iraqi output has started 2011 on a reasonably strong footing. In the year to date through June, Iraqi oil output is running higher y/y by about 250 thousand b/d, as continued ramp-up at the Rumalia oil field has boosted output.
The 2011 budget expects Iraq to export an average of 2.2 mb/d – at $76.5/bbl – with production capacity plans of more than 13.5 m/d in seven years, which remains far too optimistic, in our view. Nonetheless, while protests and violence have continued through this year, the international oil companies have been fairly resilient in standing their ground and increasing production.