AMMAN: Iraq can produce as much as five million barrels a day of oil without needing to ask for Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (Opec) permission because this is a sovereign decision, the chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s oil and energy panel said.
“I don’t think Opec is a constraint” to output of such a level, Adnan Al Janabi said yesterday at the Iraq 2011: Future Energy conference organised by The Energy Exchange in Istanbul.
Iraq, the only member of the Opec not bound by a production quota, pumped 2.68 million barrels a day in August, according to data. Its crude output rose to 2.81 million barrels a day on September 18, the highest level since the United States-led invasion of 2003, according to the Oil Ministry.
The country has historically produced crude at a level comparable to that of Iran, which has a limit of 3.336 million barrels a day, according to data.
Production at Iraq’s West Qurna-1 oilfield has reached 350,000 barrels a day, compared to 268,000 barrels a day in March, according to Paul Dubetz, a vice-president at Exxon Mobil.
Further wells and sophisticated systems are needed to increase production at the field, he said in Istanbul. Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell hold rights to the field.
The nation seeks to boost output to 3 million barrels a day by the end of this year from 2.4 million barrels in 2010, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Al Luaibi said on September 11. Hussain Al Shahristani, the deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said in July that Iraq hopes to boost production to 12 million barrels a day by 2017.