Halting production from Iraq’s southern Nassiriya oilfield on Saturday by protesters will not affect the country’s exports and production operations, the Oil Ministry said on Sunday.
Iraq will use the additional output from southern oilfields in Basra to make up for the missing shipments from the Nassiriya field and the closure of the field’s operations are temporary, the ministry said in a statement.
A senior manager at the state-run Basra Oil Co. said they can increase production from Majnoon southern and other small oilfields operated by the state-run company.
No foreign companies operate at the Nassiriya oilfield and state-run teams are managing the operations.
Production operations at Nassiriya, which produces 80,000-85,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), were stopped after protesters closed roads and prevented workers from reaching the field, said the ministry statement.
Protesters broke into Iraq’s southern Nassiriya oilfield on Saturday and forced employees to cut off electricity from its control station, taking the field offline.
Iraq is one of the world’s top oil producers. Earlier this month, the Iraqi oil minister said that OPEC and allied oil producers will consider deepening their existing oil output cuts by about 400,000 bpd to 1.6 million bpd.
The minister, Thamer Ghadhban, told reporters in Baghdad that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together known as OPEC+, will consider increasing the cuts in their supply pact at meetings in Vienna this week.
OPEC+ oil exporters have coordinated output for three years to balance the market and support prices. Their current deal, which agreed to cut supply by 1.2 million bpd from January this year, expires at the end of March.
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