Iraq Rushes To Jumpstart Projects Ahead Of May Election

Iraq plans a big start to 2018 with a number of key projects set to get underway. In seemingly trying to expedite timeframes to secure signature before May’s planned parliamentary election it risks creating a logjam.

With total crude output of 4.41mn b/d in December ( MEES, 12 January ), Iraq appears to be pumping close to de facto capacity (leaving aside the 280,000 b/d of Kirkuk capacity shut in as the Baghdad-Kurdistan political dispute has closed off the only viable export route). Of December output 4.1mn b/d comes from areas of the country under Baghdad’s direct control, and 320,000 b/d from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Plans currently under way are slated to add a further 220,000 b/d capacity by end-2018 bringing the federal total to around 4.3mn b/d. Restarting the shut-in Kirkuk output (from the Bai Hassan field and Avana Dome) would take the total to 4.6mn b/d. But the most realistic way in which this could be achieved this year would be for an agreement to be reached with the KRG to export via its independent 700,000 b/d pipeline ( MEES, 5 January ).


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