Iraq Targets 1 Million BPD Output for Disputed Kirkuk Oilfields


Iraq aims to double the output of oilfields in the northern province of Kirkuk retaken from the Kurds to one million barrels per day (bpd), Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaybi said Monday.

"The priority is to resume oil exports from Kirkuk through the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline once it has been rehabilitated or replaced by a new one," he said on a visit to the fields claimed by both Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurds.

Almost a month after federal forces recaptured Kirkuk from the Kurds, production is still at a standstill at two of the province's oilfields and all exports have halted.

For now, 30,000 bpd will be shipped to Iran on tanker trucks, Luaybi said.

The aim is for "the fields and wells to be renovated, and our goal is to reach output of one million barrels per day," possibly with the help of British energy giant BP, he said.

Luaybi, making the first visit to the zone by an Iraqi oil minister since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, said Kirkuk's current production capacity was 420,000 bpd.

The Kurds had taken over the fields in 2014 and exported to Turkey through their own pipeline. Work to renovate a parallel Iraqi pipeline could take two years, according to experts.