BASRA, Iraq, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Gas production in southern Iraq has reached 700 million cubic feet per day, and is expected to reach 1 billion cubic feet per day by the end of the year, an Iraqi energy official said on Thursday.
Iraq's South Gas Company had also begun pumping gas through a new pipeline whose capacity is 200 million cubic feet per day, the official told Reuters.
"There will be noticeably large increases by the end of the current year," said Ahmed Saddam, head of production at the South Gas.
Iraq has begun reducing oil production this month in line with an OPEC decision to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day to support prices, although oil exports from southern Iraq have reached record levels.
Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
(Reporting by Aref Mohammed in Basra, writing by Saif Hameed and John Davison in Baghdad; editing by Alison Williams and Jason Neely)
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