The KRG had hoped in 2013 for crude exports to reach “1mn b/d by the end of 2015 and 2mn b/d by 2019.” It has been a roller-coaster ride since (though output has never troubled 1mn b/d). Since 2013, the KRG has seized some 280,000 b/d production from Kirkuk fields, lost it, and is now set for average production of around 330,000 b/d in 2018, just a third of the 2015 target.
Low oil prices and political uncertainty have seen foreign investment dry up, causing output from fields still under Kurdish control to fall from their 2015 peak of 407,000 b/d. Geological setbacks have also offset gains from new producers. Statements released by Kurdistan-focused IOCs in late-January revealed that major production gains are not expected in 2018, meaning no relief is in sight for Erbil’s financial crisis (MEES, 22 December 2017). (CONTINUED - 1654 WORDS)