Time for an update on the progress, or rather lack of it, in Iraqi oil production. Recall that following decades of neglect, sanctions, and war damage, the Iraqi oil ministry under Hussein al-Shahristani is trying to massively expand production, supposedly to 12mbd within 7 years (though probably Dr al-Shahristani is the only person on the planet who thinks that target will be hit in full).
The graph above shows the latest data from four different sources, together with an average index. The data are current as of September to November depending on source. As you can see, there was a small drop in early 2010, and then it's been roughly flat since then.
This interesting UPI story gives some field level detail on what's going on with the new projects, most of which are only just getting started:
Rumaila: Iraq's biggest field with the equivalent of 17.8 billion barrels of oil. That makes it the fourth largest oil field in the world. It contains around 15 percent of Iraq's oil. It is operated by BP and the China National Petroleum Corp.I guess the bits of improvement cited here were more than offset by problems and disruptions elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if 2011 goes any better than 2010.
Production is 1.052 million bpd and is expected to reach its initial production rate of 1.065 million bpd by the end of the year, Jafaar says. That's three years ahead of schedule.
West Qurna 1: Contains 8.7 billion barrels. Exxon Mobil of the United States and Royal Dutch Shell secured the production contract in 2009. Production has been slipping but is expected to hit the IPR of 285,000 bpd within a year.
West Qurna 2: Holds 12.9 billion barrels and is operated by a consortium headed by Russia's Lukoil and StatoilHydro of Norway. Peak production of 1.8 million bpd is expected by the end of 2012, sustainable for more than a decade.
Majnoon: With reserves of 12.6 billion barrels, this is one of the top Iraqi fields and lies near the border with Iran. It is operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas, which say they have boosted production from a paltry 46,000 bpd to 70,000 bpd, rising eventually to 1.8 million bpd.
Zubair: Operated by a consortium of Italy's ENI, the U.S. Occidental Petroleum Corp. and the Korea Gas Corp. of South Korea. It has reserves of 4.1 billion barrels. Production is 200,000 bpd, up from 183,000 bpd in 2009. That's expected to eventually reach 1.2 million bpd.
Halfaya: Contains 4.1 billion barrels and is operated by the China National Petroleum Corp. Production is running at 3,600 bpd but potential output has been pegged as high as 535,000 bpd.
The Baghdad government expects production from just three of these fields -- Rumaila, West Qurna 2 and Zubair -- to hit 7 million bpd within six years.