Iraqi crude production at around 4.5mn b/d: Somo

OREANDA-NEWS. May 25, 2016. Iraq's crude production, including the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, has risen from April's levels and is "around 4.5mn b/d", according to Iraq's official crude marketer Somo.

Production had fallen by around 200,000–300,000 b/d since the January all-time record of 4.775mn b/d, Somo director general Falah al-Amri said at the CWC Iraq Petroleum 2016 conference. This was attributed to around 175,000 b/d lower production from Kirkuk, because of an ongoing dispute between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in addition to poor weather at Basrah port and occasional field maintenance. Al-Amri said recent power supply issues in south Iraq had also at times lowered production by 50,000-70,000 b/d.

Al-Amri reiterated an April export figure of 3.364mn b/d from Iraq's southern ports, as previously published by the oil ministry. The addition of the KRG's April export figure of around 510,000 b/d would lift overall Iraqi exports in April to 3.8mn-3.9mn b/d.

Al-Amri said Iraq's current production capacity was around 4.8mn-4.9mn b/d, and said a production target of around 5.5mn-6mn b/d by 2020 was feasible if investments by international oil companies continue.

Al-Amri said the segregation of Basrah crude streams into Basrah Light and Heavy last year was considered a success, in terms of improving overall quality and increasing export and revenues, and he said international oil companies had expressed satisfaction with the grades' stability. Basrah Light's API gravity is around 30°, while Basrah Heavy is 27°API and at times even 26.5°API, he said. Al-Amri said he was surprised by the keen interest of Basrah Heavy from buyers in the US, where the grade has displaced some Venezuelan and Mexican grades.