Iraqi officials on Monday announced their country's oil production has exceeded 3 million barrels a day, a level not seen in several decades.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, Iraq has been on an aggressive schedule to increase its oil production. The country wants to produce 12 million barrels of oil a day, and hopes to double its current production over the next three years, Reuters reported.
Iraq's average daily oil production was just below 2.7 million barrels in 2011. So far in 2012, production has risen by 300,000 barrels Reuters reported, the highest level since 1979.
The country hopes to have an operating floating export terminal that will increase export capacity by another 300,000 barrels of oil a day.
While I am talking to you today, the Iraqi oil production has exceeded 3 million barrels per day, Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani told a conference in Baghdad, Reuters reported. Loading crude from the first floating oil terminal will start during the next three days.
Iraq is said to have at least 84 billion barrels of as of yet undiscovered oil and holds the world's fourth largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, said the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In New York, oil traded at 106.52 a barrel Monday.
The country's oil ambitions have been hampered by years of sanctions and war which hurt the country's infrastructure. Iraq's country's refining and export infrastructure are bottlenecks, said the EIA, and cannot process more crude without being upgraded.