Iraq plans to start expanding oil export capacity from next year, official says

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Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, plans to start increasing oil export capacity from its southern ports from next year to add a total of 1 million to 1.5 million barrels a day by 2025, according to its OPEC delegate.

The project involves rehabilitating the southern Khor Al-Amaya port and marine pipelines, Mohammed Saadoon, Iraq’s national representative at OPEC and a deputy director general of the state-run oil marketing company known as SOMO, said in an interview on state-run Iraqiya TV.

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Export capacity from southern ports is due to increase between 150,000 to 250,000 barrels a day from next year, he said. Iraq exported 3.293 million barrels a day from its southern ports in October, according to the oil ministry.

Iraq is trying to boost revenue from oil and entice global companies to work in the country after decades of turmoil marked by wars, sanctions and militant attacks. The output cuts decided by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies last month won’t affect Iraq’s oil exports, Saadoon said.

Iraq’s oil sales price has averaged $97 a barrel so far this year, he said.

The oil ministry is also pursuing plans to boost oil production to 5 million-5.5 million barrels a day by 2028, Saadoon said. The country produces 4.652 million barrels a day, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani said on November 12.

Read more: Oil exports in Iraq unaffected by political turmoil: Sources

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