Iraq South Oil to hit 2.5 million Barrels a day

Azzaman, July 29 – The Southern Oil Company in Basra seeks to raise output from southern oil fields to 2.5 million barrels a day by the end of the year, according to a senior official.

Jassem Khudier, the company’s information officer, said the current output of less than 2 million barrels is much less than the company’s potential and does not match the massive reserves under its disposal.

Before the war, the company produced the largest portion of Iraqi output which occasionally hit 2.8 million barrels.

The southern fields alone produced nearly 2.5 million barrels a day.

The Southern Oil Company is one of the largest in the world in terms of reserves and its major operations focus on extraction, distribution and exports.

Khudier said the company administers an area of about 180,000 square kilometers, currently including 12 active oil fields. There are seven gigantic oil fields waiting for development in the area, two of them are believed to be the largest in the world.

More than 60 per cent of proven Iraqi reserves estimated at 114 billion barrels are situated in areas under its control. The company is the largest employer in the south. It employs more than 20,000 workers.

However, its oil installations have been the main victims of the country’s numerous wars. The company’s infrastructure was heavily damaged in the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war. Following massive repairs, it was heavily bombed in the 1991 Gulf War.

It was also devastated in the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country.