Having finally been appointed in October after a six-month political standoff, Iraq’s new Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban spoke extensively to reporters for the first time in his current role this week at the Opec meeting in Vienna. Most notably, Mr Ghadhban expects Iraq to finally reach its 5mn b/d production capacity goal by the end of next year, with gains on the current production mostly coming from key fields in the country’s southern oil heartlands. Iraq pumped a post-2003 record of 4.65mn b/d in October.

“As for production capacity… we hope we can hit 5mn b/d by the end of next year,” Mr Ghadhban says. “We have a planned increase of about 300,000 b/d. If you are smart enough, look at current production and the amended plateaus.” (CONTINUED - 895 WORDS)