Iraq’s giant West Qurna 1 oilfield has reached a production capacity of around 465,000 barrels per day (b/d), up from 440,000 b/d, according to Iraqi oil officials, Reuters reported.

The rise in production is attributed to the completion of new crude processing facilities and oil storage tanks.

Iraq plans to increase the production capacity of West Qurna 1 oilfield to reach 490,000 b/d through new projects; including two new crude processing facilities with a joint capacity to process 150,000 b/d of oil, a unit to separate water and oil, and five oil storage tanks.

The field, which is operated by ExxonMobil, saw the return of its staff after they were evacuated to Dubai after the US withdrew non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad due to rising tensions with Iran.

Iraq is currently producing under its maximum capacity of around 5 million b/d, as per the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production cut agreement.