Iraq plans to boost its oil-exporting capacity

Iraq is reportedly ramping up efforts to expand its capacity to pump and export oil through building a processing facility that will double output at the Majnoon field to 450,000 bpd.

Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, the director-general of state-run Basra Oil Company, told Bloomberg that Iraq is seeking bids from six companies for the $4-billion project to inject seawater into its southern oil fields. The country has already received bids from five companies interested in building the processing facility, he said.

He added that Iraq, second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is also studying a proposal from a Dutch company to build a 10 million-barrel storage facility and an oil-exporting terminal with a capacity of 2 million barrels a day on an artificial island off the coast.

State-run Basra Oil targets an increase in production to 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of the year from 3.15 million currently, Abdul Jabbar said. It plans to pump 4.5 million barrels a day by the end of 2022, he said.

Following the production loss it incurred in the North because of the dispute with the semi-autonomous Kurdish region and the ensuing reduction of exports through Turkey, Iraq has sought to boost oil sales from its southern region, which includes giant fields such as Majnoon and Rumaila.

According to Bloomberg, Iraq pumped 4.43 million barrels a day in February, second only to Saudi Arabia in OPEC. It sees output capacity at 5 million barrels a day by the end of next year.

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