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Iraq Starts Drilling At Oilfield On Iranian Border

State-producer Maysan Oil Company will oversee the oil and natural gas development at the critical field, which was launched during a visit from Oil Minister Jabrane Al-Luaibi.

Another statement from the oil ministry said the Haifaya oil field, operated by PetroChina, is set to undergo expansion work that will double its output to 400,000 barrels per day by the end of next year.

Oil profits represent over 95 percent of Iraq’s government revenues, making the industry’s recovery a key national policy objective that will define the terms of the country’s post-ISIS reconstruction.

Relations between Iran and Iraq on energy issues, and generally, have been amicable for the past few years. Iran finally started exporting natural gas to its neighbor after a four-year delay due to the challenging security situation in the recipient nation. The exports started at a daily rate of 7 million cubic meters last month, according to a deputy oil minister who spoke to IRNA, as quoted by Reuters, but should reach 35 million cubic meters at an unspecified point in the future.

OPEC member Iraq is the bloc’s second-largest oil producer, behind only Saudi Arabia in terms of national output. Total production from OPEC countries jumped up 220,000 barrels per day between May and June, Platts’ figures from last week showed. Surging output from Libya and Nigeria has caused the bloc to exceed the 31.9 million-bpd production limit it had promised last November by 600,000 barrels—figures that include OPEC’s newest member, Equatorial Guinea, and do not include OPEC’s suspended member, Indonesia.

Despite the higher production for June, OPEC’s official compliance is still well above 100 percent because the exemptees’ production increases do not count against the bloc’s pledged maximum output. As OPEC’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia has shouldered the lion’s share of the cuts, compensating for new output and exports from No. 2, Iraq.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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