Sep 26 2013
By Shaymaa Adel
Azzaman, September 26, 2013
Oil production from Iraq’s southern fields is booming but its northern fields are operating much below capacity, according to well-placed sources at the state-run Northern Oil Company.
The sources, refusing to be named, said certain fields in the northern oil-rich Province of Kirkuk were facing “technical problems” and were in need of rehabilitation and development in order to increase their output.
Traditionally, the northern fields in Kirkuk have been the most prolific in Iraq, churning out at their peak in the 1970s more than 1.5 million barrels a day.
But the sources said output currently stood at less than half of what it used to be.
More than 2.3 million of Iraq’s output estimated at 3 million barrels a day now originate from the southern fields of Basra.
The slump in Kirkuk’s output has reflected negatively on the amounts available for export via the twin-pipeline ending at the Turkish Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan.
The twin pipeline can handle more than 1 million barrels a day but approximately it now carries 300,000 barrels.
The sources said the Northern Oil Company was working hard to boost output from producing fields by drilling new oil wells.
Kirkuk’s oil production now stands at 680,000 barrels a day, they said.
More than half of the output is ferried to refineries in central Iraq with 10,000 barrels a day shipped to Jordan via truck tankers.
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