An oil field in Kirkuk.
Basra (IraqiNews.com) Iraq will increase its oil production from one of its oldest oil fields in the south by 20.000 barres per day, a petroleum ministry official was quoted saying on Saturday.
Karim Hattab, Deputy Pettroleum Minister for Exploration and Production, said production capacity from the Leheils field in southern Iraq will be raised from 100.000 barrels per day to 120.000.
He said the Leheis oil field, discovered in 1961, remained one of the “promising” resources, and supports the national electricity grid with 35 million standard cubic feet per day.
Iraq is OPEC”s second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, recording a daily production of 477.5 million barrels per day in 2016.
Despite the planned increase, Iraq is recommending an extension of an OPEC agreement to cut members’ production, by 1.8 million barrels daily, beyond June.
A spokesperson of the Cabinet, Saad al-Hadithi, said Iraq wants the production cuts to extend for nine extra months to offset oversupply and enhance prices. He said the slashed production since the signing of the agreement last year had helped improve oil revenues gradually for exporting companies
His statements come at odds with several agreement Iraq has reached with world oil giants to resume stalled investments in its major oil fields. Officials project an increase of production between 250.000 and 350.000 barrels per day in 2018 with those new investments.