Russia starts oil production in Iraq

Baghdad, March 30: Russian oil company Lukoil started its first pumping of crude oil from Iraq’s giant West Qurna-2 oil field Saturday, as Baghdad is working to boost its oil exports to a higher-level.

The field’s daily production started with 120,000 barrels and is expected to increase to 400,000 barrels by 2014, Xinhua quoted Iraqi Minister of Oil Abdul Kareem Luaybi as saying during the inauguration ceremony in oil-hub city of Basra, some 550 km from Baghdad.

Luaybi hoped that his country’s oil output could possibly reach four million barrels per day by 2014. “This is a historic and great accomplishment that would enable the government to implement its development programs by increasing its revenues.”

West Qurna-2 oil field is the second largest undeveloped field in Iraq after Rumaila oil field, and also one of the world’s super giant oilfields with an estimated recoverable reserve of about 14 billion barrels.

The Iraqi economy depends on oil revenues for nearly 95 percent of its budget.

In 2010, Iraq announced that its proven oil reserves increased to 143.1 billion barrels from the previous estimation of 115 billion barrels.

IANS