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Iraq exports and production surge as new SPM opens

South Oil Company chief confirms expansion of south Iraq oil industry

Iraq is boosting exports and production in a hurry. GETTY IMAGES
Iraq is boosting exports and production in a hurry. GETTY IMAGES

Iraq’s oil production and exports continue to rise, as a second single-point mooring system (SPM) offshore Basra begins lifting crude to VLCCs.

The South Oil Company opened the second SPM on Friday, adding 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of export capacity from Basra, and can eventually cope with 850,000 bpd of exports if needed. A 2-million barrel tanker is already taking crude from the new SPM, according to the SOC.

The first SPM began lifting crude in March. Australia’s Leighton Offshore – currently subject to a bribery investigation by Australia’s Federal Police – is building a further two SPMs.

"We expect production increases in in Basra from the current 2.15 million barrels per day (bpd) to 2.75 million bpd by the end of the year," Dhia Jaffar, director general of the SOC, told reporters at a press conference.

Jaffar also announced that the Rumaila field, which is jointly operated by BP and China’s CNPC, is pumping 1.316 bpd, and will add a further 250,000 bpd of production capacity by the end of the year.

Accoring to Reuters, Jaffar added that West Qurna One (ExxonMobil) was producting at a rate of 406,000 bpd and expected to rise by 100,000 bpd in the next six months, while production from Zubair (Eni) was at 254,000 bpd and expected to increase by 100,000 bpd by the end of 2012.

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