Sep 23 2013
By Basem al-Rikabi
Azzaman, September 23, 2013
Two news items dominate the Iraqi media. The first is about oil. The second about the upsurge in violence.
The media have their counts of bombing attacks, mainly by suicide bombers. Seventy such attacks were reported last week, claiming more than 400 lives.
But the media also provide a rosy picture of the economy, particularly the oil sector.
Royalties from oil exports are booming and they are expected to hit $150 billion this year.
So is output which is expected to exceed 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of the year.
New provinces are drawing their names on the country’s oil map.
The southern Province of Missan now has its own oil company, the State-Run Missal Oil Company.
Oil development and oil-related infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars are being implementing in the province.
The surge in its oil output has prompted the company to start constructing a $500 million pipeline to link its prolific oil fields to the terminals on the head of the Gulf in Basra.
Missan Company’s Director-General Bahaa al-Araji says oil output from Missan fields will exceed 1.27 million barrels a day in 2017.
What better good news for the impoverished inhabitants of Missan Province as the surge in oil output will entitle them to $2 per each barrel produced from their oil fields.
Another southern province has entered the Iraqi oil scene. It is the Province of Dhi Qar.
Dhi Qar is now considering having its own oil company as crude started flowing in large quantities from one of its many oil fields, al-Gharraf.
The province has just celebrated the inauguration of Gharraf which is currently churning out 35,000 barrels a day, which in a short period will increase to more than 100,000 barrels daily.
But it is the province’s Majnoon (the mad) oil field that will turn the country into a top oil producer. Majnoon is believed to be one of the world’s largest oil fields with up to 30 billion barrels of oil in reserves.
By the end of this month Majnoon will produce up to 190,000 barrels a day.
Dhi Qar and Missan are on their way to double current Iraqi oil output of 3 million barrels a day.
The surge in output will mean hundreds of millions of dollars for the cash-strapped budgets of both provinces through the so-called petro-dollar project that will give them $2 for each barrel of oil they produce.
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