Flames emerge from a pipeline at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. Picture: REUTERS
Flames emerge from a pipeline at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. Picture: REUTERS

Zubair, Iraq — Iraq has lifted oil production at Eni’s Zubair field in the south by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 475,000bpd, an Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday.

Production rose after the completion of a new oil processing facility, Muhaned Abbas Kojer, the capacity expansion project director, said on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch the new installations in al-Zubair, south of Basra.

Zubair’s production capacity will rise to 625,000bpd by the end of the year, as three additional facilities are added, and further expansion will take its capacity to its 850,000bpd target by 2020, Abbas said.

The field should produce 140-million cubic feet per day of gas by the end of 2018, he said.

Iraq, the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, has an oil production capacity of nearly 5-million bpd.

Crude output is kept at about 4.45-million bpd, in line with a deal between Opec and some other non-Opec producers to curb production in order to bolster crude prices. The country is also seeking to lift its refining capacity to become self-sufficient in oil products.

The oil ministry has asked investors for bids by June 14 to build a 100,000bpd refinery in Kut, south of Baghdad.

Iraq’s refining capacity was curbed when Islamic State overran its largest oil processing plant in Baiji, north of Baghdad, in 2014.

Iraqi forces recaptured Baiji in 2015 but it sustained heavy damage in the fighting.

The country now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad and the Shuaiba plant in the Basra region. Reuters

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