IRAQ'S OIL PRODUCTION: 6.5 MBD
PLATTS - Iraq has adjusted its crude oil production capacity target and is now aiming to achieve 6.5 million b/d by 2022, oil minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said Monday.
Iraq's Cabinet on Sunday approved a five-year plan calling for the country to boost its nationwide oil production capacity to 6.5 million b/d by 2022, up from 5 million b/d currently.
Iraq is technically supposed to restrict actual production to 4.35 million b/d, under OPEC's output restraint deal agreed in late-2016, which runs through 2018.
Between state-run oil companies and international oil companies with signed technical service contracts, Baghdad itself is expected to reach the new target before 2022.
Iraq produced 4.43 million b/d in February, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey, and has at least 280,000 b/d shut-in at Kirkuk fields due to lack of an export route.
Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has also signed production sharing contracts with major international oil companies and is expected to double its current 350,000 b/d production over the coming 12 months.
According to the Sunday announcement by the Council of Ministers, the five-year plan has three key economic pillars: increasing the role of agriculture and industry in the currently oil-dominated economy "to reach a target economic growth rate of 7%"; the boost in oil production capacity to 6.5 million b/d; and reducing poverty while increasing "sustainable employment opportunities."
Iraq last week said it would put 11 oil fields and blocks up for auction in a rushed bidding round that is supposed to take place on April 15 and is intended to increase production from discovered but dormant or underdeveloped fields.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.