Iraq has started work to double the crude oil loading capacity at one of its two southern offshore oil export terminals to 1.2mb/d, Daily Mail informed.

According to state-run South Oil Company’s (SOC), dredging operations have started to deepen the seabed at the Khor al-Amaya terminal to enable the loading by Suezmax vessels, tankers that can carry up to 1m barrels of crude, Ekurd Daily reported.

The expansion work at Khor al-Amaya,  whose current loading capacity is around 600,000 b/d, should be finished by June 2017, he added.

Khor al-Amaya is located in the Gulf near the much larger Basra offshore terminal, which has several berths and mooring points. Iraq’s southern exports reached a record 3.51 mb/d in December 2016, according to the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

OPEC’s second-largest producer, after Saudi Arabia, Iraq contributed to the biggest crude production increase from the 13-member oil exporters’ group in 2015, as it ramped up output from the giant oilfields in its southern region in cooperation with foreign oil companies. The country reluctantly agreed in November 2016 to an OPEC deal to cut production in a collective effort to try and boost oil prices.