Iraq plans to increase it oil output by 500,000 barrels per day to 3.5 million barrels per day by the end of 2001, Fa’iz Shaheen, the undersecretary of the Iraqi oil ministry, has told the Al Ittihad weekly newspaper.
To cope with the increased output, Shaheen said, his ministry was overseeing the repair of existing oilfields and digging new oil wells.
Iraq’s is currently exporting about 2.4 million barrels per day, which includes exports to Jordan outside of the UN program. Officially, according to UN figures, the country exported 1.3 million barrels per day in February.
This, commentators said, was the result of its clients refusing to pay an under-the-table surcharge.
In a related development, Iraq threatened yesterday to terminate contracts signed with Russian and Chinese oil firms to develop the country’s southern Al Ahdab and Al Qorna oil fields Shaheen said that Iraq was negotiating with Indonesian, Irish and Malaysian companies to develop its oil sector.
He also said his ministry had signed a contract with an Indian firm to carry out exploratory work in the south of the country. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
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