Monday, June 20, 2011
Here are the latest Iraqi oil production statistics (recall the history). The new slightly higher plateau of 2.6-2.7mbd that was first achieved at the end of last year has held since then.
At this point, compared to when I was first discussing this (eg here and here) it seems to me that the political stability risks have declined considerably. It now seems unlikely that Iraq will collapse into disorder when the US finally leaves altogether (though not impossible I suppose). However, there is still some level of armed insurrection, and Iraq still has to contend with a very old inadequate set of infrastructure (oil and otherwise) which will have to be upgraded and replaced.
So my favored scenario at this point would be that Iraq will eventually produce far more oil than it does today, but that the expansion will be slow and fitful, especially at first, and will fall behind the articulated schedule of the oil ministry. Peak production for this country is probably at least a decade away.