Iraq: oil output highest since 1979
BAGHDAD - Iraq's oil production is now over three million barrels per day (bpd), the country's highest output since 1979, top Iraqi energy officials said on Monday in Baghdad.
"Oil production is now over three million barrels per day," Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said in a speech at the oil ministry.
Iraq's current production "is the highest since 1979," Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi said.
Luaybi has said Iraq plans on increasing oil production and exports this year to 3.4 million bpd and 2.6 million bpd, respectively.
Iraq exported 65.3 million barrels of crude in January -- an average of about 2.1 million bpd -- and earned $7.123 billion from oil sales, according to oil ministry figures.
Shahristani also said that a new Gulf export terminal "has been examined and oil will be exported from it during the next two days."
Oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad has said that the terminal is part of a plan to increase Iraq's production and export capacity, and that the second of five planned terminals will hopefully be completed this year.
The eventual goal is for Iraq to be able to export five million barrels per day of oil from the south alone, Jihad said.
Iraqi officials have said the country will be able to produce around 12 million bpd by 2017, though the IMF has said these projections are too high.