10 August 2012Iraq’s crude output rose above 3 million barrels a day last month for the first time since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Iraq pumped 3.08 million barrels a day in July, 115,000 barrels more than the previous month, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said today in its Monthly Oil Market Report. The Persian Gulf state for a second month outpaced Iran, where output dropped by 173,000 barrels to 2.82 million. Iraq last produced more than 3 million barrels in February 2002, OPEC said after revising its April estimate.
The reduction from Iran came as full sanctions by the European Union started July 1, which led to the third monthly decline in the group’s output. OPEC, which supplies 40 percent of the world’s oil, produced 31.2 million barrels a day last month, versus 31.35 million in June, according to the data, which cites secondary sources.
Iraqi production is increasing as overseas investors such as Exxon Mobil and BP develop new fields and rework older deposits. The country has held several licensing rounds for oil and natural gas fields since the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule and more than two decades of stagnation caused by wars, sanctions and underinvestment.