Iraq will begin operating a second offshore mooring facility for crude exports from the Persian Gulf, Dhia Jaafar, director general of Southern Oil Co., said. The new single-point mooring unit, with a capacity of 900,000 barrels a day, will start pumping at noon today, Jaafar said in a phone interview from Basra. It is the second of four units planned.
Iraq’s production capacity from the southern region will increase to 2.75 million barrels a day at the end of this year from 2.15 million, he said. The nation’s export capacity from southern terminals and the two offshore facilities are at 3.6 million barrels, according to Jaafar.
A third mooring facility will be ready “within a few months” and would be used if exports increase, he said. Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani said in December that a fourth unit will be in place next year.
Iraq is the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, behind Saudi Arabia and Iran. The nation’s output has been rising steadily after years of conflict, sanctions and sabotage. It holds the world’s fifth- largest crude deposits that also include Canadian oil sands, according to data from BP Plc.