Iraq Shuts Down Production Of Two Oil Fields
Iraq–Iraq halted oil production from two southern fields that have a combined capacity of pumping almost half a million barrels a day. The shutdowns diminished the ability of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ second-largest member to extract crude oil just as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tight supplies of oil globally increased the price of the crude oil.
Reportedly, the operators of Nasiriya and West Qurna-2 have said nearby fields will be able to produce more oil to compensate for the temporary losses. According to Bloomberg, the Nasiriya oil field has a capacity of supplying as much as 80,000 barrels a day. However, it was stopped by the Iraqi authorities on Saturday. A protest prevented staff from reaching the Nasiriya site.
Reportedly, the huge West Qurna-2 field was closed on February 21 for maintenance. The oil field has a capacity of pumping 400,000 barrels a day. It is scheduled to resume normal operations on March 14. Reportedly, state-owned Basra Oil Co. said the maintenance work will enable oil production from West Qurna-2 to be increased to 450,000 barrels a day. Russia’s Lukoil PJSC (Public Joint-Stock Company) has a stake in the field. The decision to halt the production of two oil fields comes as many OPEC members, including Iraq, struggle to reach their production target. Many OPEC members came under pressure in recent months to raise oil production faster.
According to Bloomberg, Iraq pumped 4.16 million barrels a day in January, which is less than its target of almost 4.3 million. Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said in an interview on February 21 that the country missed its target because of the bad weather. Earlier, Iraq said it can pump as much as 5 million barrels a day. Reportedly, OPEC members and partners, a 23-nation group including Russia, will meet on March 2 to decide on output for April.