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Iraq Charts Oil Future Amidst Challenges

Iraq seeks to increase oil exports. Click map to enlarge.
March 27, 2013 - Iraq continues to increase production and exporting of oil. But it also struggles with pipeline blockages.

Ten years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, which resulted in the ouster of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is busily engaged in a series of high-cost production deals and plans to extend a pipeline to Egypt.

Pipeline Problems, Prospects

But security and degradation problems in its northern pipeline system continue to haunt the Middle Eastern country which sits on an estimated 115 billion barrels of crude.

Recent attacks this month and in February have disrupted a major pipeline.

Further, the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline suffered a leak due to old equipment the Oil Ministry said. This pipeline running to the Mediterranean through Turkey is a major conduit for Iraqi exports.

However Iraq is also seeking to build a new pipeline to Egypt capable of supplying that North African country's refineries with 4 million barrels per month.

Iraq Oil Production Plans

The Iraqi Oil Ministry also forecast that the country could export 7 million barrels of oil per day by 2015. A senior ministry official said that the completion of offshore oil rigs this year will enable Iraq to meet the export targets.

Also, Exxon said it would invest $1.65 billion in the West Qurna 1 oil field in the southern region of Iraq.


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