Iraq boosts oil output in south, as violence stems northern production

|By:, SA News Editor

Iraq is moving ahead with an ambitious increase in production at its prolific southern oil fields despite a surge of violence in the country.

Russia's Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF) says it had shipped 1M barrels of oil produced from southern Iraq's giant West Qurna-2 oilfield, its first shipment from the field; output at West Qurna-2 field has reached 280K bbl/day from 120K bbl/day when it first started pumping from the field in March.

Iraq's oil ministry also says crude has started to flow through a new pipeline connecting the Halfaya and Missan fields to the southern port of Faw, expanding export capacity, while crude also has started to flow from the Badra Field, which is operated by the Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY), to a storage facility in Basra.

Iraq's oil production hit 3.6M barrels in February, its highest level in 35 years, but has since fluctuated because of logistical constraints and political turmoil.