Iraq’s oil production capacity is forecast to increase sharply over next five years

OPEC crude production capacity set to reach 38.1 million barrels per day by 2016.

20 December 2011

Crude oil production capacity in Iraq is set to increase by 1.87 million barrels per day (mb/d) between 2010 and 2016, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Oil Market Report (OMR). This will increase production in the country to 4.36 mb/d by 2016.

This revised forecast means that Iraq is expected to account for 80% of the increase in OPEC’s crude oil production capacity in the six-year period. Overall production capacity in OPEC is now forecast to increase by 2.33 mb/d, to 38.1 mb/d by 2016. (That is 37.5% of the global liquids production capacity in 2016).

The latest outlook for Iraq, which is 335 thousand barrels per day (kb/d) higher than the OMR’s report in June, is mainly due to steady progress at the country’s 12 joint venture projects with energy companies.

The report – a monthly publication which provides a view of the state of the international oil market and projections for oil supply and demand – however, warns of potential risks to this production increase in Iraq, notably the withdrawal of US troops and fears of escalating instability as insurgency bombing increases.

“International Oil Companies also report that continued bureaucratic, logistical and operational constraints are posing significant challenges and delays to project work, which we have already largely built into our forecast,” the OMR stated.

Aside from Iraq, the only other OPEC countries which are set to contribute significant growth in the next few years are the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Angola and Nigeria, which combined will add a further net 1.3 mb/d by 2016:

  • Total oil production capacity in UAE is now forecast to rise by 710 kb/d, to 3.41 mb/d by 2016;
  • Angola is forecast to increase capacity by 360 kb/d to 2.4 mb/d by 2016; and
  • Production capacity in Nigeria is expected to increase by a net 240 kb/d to 2.93 mb/d by 2016.

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