Today's Trends: Ramping Iraq's Production

More than quadruple the production over the next seven years; that has been Iraq's goal for its crude production capacity. To get from current crude levels of 2.4 million bbl/day to 12 million bbl/day by 2017 will be a monumental achievement, but Iraq certainly has help.

ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, China National Petroleum, Total, Eni, Lukoil, Sonangol, Statoil, and Petronas have all signed on to invest billions in various ventures that will step-up production at some of Iraq's most prolific fields once completed.

One of my favorite sayings is, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." Whoever, came up with the 12 million bbl/day production goal probably takes this adage way too seriously. Even prior to the first Gulf War, Iraq's peak production in the 10 years prior was approximately 3 million bbl/day.

Adding 2 million bbl/day to production capacity would be an impressive feat in Iraq over the next five years. IHS-CERA reported earlier this year that adding two million barrels per day was in-line with what the Saudis had done previously over a five-year timeframe. However, Saudi Arabia did not face anywhere near the levels the security issues, lack of capital for infrastructure, or corruption that is currently riddling Iraq's rebuilding efforts.


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