West Qurna-2, which is being developed by a Lukoil-led consortium, is one of two key Iraqi oil field projects that are expected to contribute to the bulk of expected additional production capacity in 2014.

Meanwhile, the first phase of export capacity expansion work has been completed, raising southern export capacity to 3mn b/d from 2.7mn b/d previously. However, Mr Laibi says that loading operations are being suspended for three hours a day because of ongoing salvage operations to clear the waters of sunken vessels, including one large ship. Exports are currently in excess of 2.6mn b/d, he adds. This compares with an official figure of 2.341mn b/d exported in December, when shipments were hit by bad weather, he says. (CONTINUED - 1070 WORDS)