The start-up of Shell’s Majnoun field and the return of Rumaila to full capacity will help raise Iraq’s production figures this month, following a precipitous 500,000 b/d fall to just over 2.8mn b/d for September, when maintenance work began to erect a new metering platform at the Basra Oil Terminal (see p11 and MEES, 4 October).

But this stop-start scenario is likely to persist as Iraq struggles to expand infrastructure after foreign operators raced to achieve first commercial production in order to recoup costs. Both output and exports fell in September to the lowest level since February 2012 , with output well below the psychological 3mn b/d level that Iraq attained earlier this year. (CONTINUED - 668 WORDS)