Iraq’s February oil production surged by 520,000 b/d, pushing overall output by the 12 OPEC members above 30mn b/d for the first time in four months and more than offsetting a slight decline from Saudi Arabia and the near 35% drop in Libyan output, the latest MEES survey of OPEC’s output shows.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry said oil exports in February rose to their highest level in 35 years at 2.8mn b/d as completion of offshore infrastructure expansion allowed for higher loading capacity from the Basra oil terminal. This allowed oil production to soar above 3.5mn b/d. The latest development, if sustained, would cement Iraq’s position as OPEC’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, barring a rapid return by Iran, the former number two, whose output and exports are still hampered by international sanctions. (CONTINUED - 885 WORDS)