An executive of Iraq’s Basra Oil Co. (BOC) told Reuters on Friday that Iraq can increase its oil production by 200,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) this year if asked.
“If Iraq is asked to increase production, we can add 200,000 barrels until the end of the year as available production capacity,” Hassan Mohammed, deputy BOC manager in charge of oilfields and licensing rounds affairs, said in an interview.
“But (to produce) more than this amount, (we) need more time.” According to Mohammed, the increase will come from West Qurna 1 oilfields and other state-run oil fields.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia as part of his first trip to the Middle East as president, hoping to cut gasoline prices through a deal on oil production.
Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas firm, purchased 10% of Exxon Mobil’s stake in Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield, increasing its share to 20%, while BOC bought 22.7%.
There are estimated to be more than 20 billion barrels of recoverable reserves in West Qurna 1, an oilfield in southern Iraq. Mohammed said it produces about 550,000 bbl/d.
Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, can boost its export capacity by 3 million barrels per day (mbbl/d) if it upgrades its key undersea pipelines and its two onshore ports within two years.
Every day, Iraq exports 3.3 mbbl. A $300 million contract has been awarded to China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp (CPECC) to build an energy station at the giant Rumaila oilfield in Iraq.