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Iraq is now producing around 4.5 million barrels per day, up from April but below its record of 4.78 million bpd in January this year, while power outages threaten capacity in the major oil-producing regions of the south and politics has re-routed production in the north.
According to Somo, Iraq’s state-run crude marketer, since January production has fallen by 200,000-300,000 bpd at various times due to power vulnerabilities and the ongoing dispute with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which is making an independence bid on the back of unilateral oil exports.
"There is volatility around 100,000 to 200,000 bpd each month," Somo head Falah Alamri told reporters on the sidelines of an Iraq oil conference in London.
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Iraq’s production capacity is said to be up to 4.9 million barrels per day, and by 2020 it’s hoping to boost that capacity to 6 million bpd.
Some 175,000 bpd has been lost and would normally have come out of Kirkuk, which lies in the northern territory disputed between the central government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and has also been under threat by the Islamic State (ISIS).
Power outages have also led to drops in production in the south ranging from 50,000-70,000 bpd, and this remains a concern.
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In terms of exports, Somo said April saw 3.36 million barrels per day go out of the southern ports. But that’s just what Baghdad controls. The KRG exported around 510,000 bpd on its own in April.
But to reach it’s 6-million-bpd goal, it’s going to need power.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to terms for a US$5.4-billion low-interest loan for Iraq.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com