BAGHDAD, June 8 (UPI) -- Iraqi oil production rose 15 percent to 2.6 million barrels per day compared with the same period in 2010, a deputy energy official said from Baghdad.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussein al-Shahristani said oil exports from his country averaged around 2.2 million barrels per day during the first five months of the year. Current production is around 2.6 million bpd and is expected to increase by the end of the year, Bloomberg News reports.
Southern ports can process about 1.8 million bpd and the rest heads through pipelines through the north of the country to Turkey.
The country aims to increase its export capacity to 4.5 million bpd by the end of 2012 but can't do that without reconstruction at its long-neglected and war-torn southern ports.
Iraq could solidify its position as the No. 3 oil exporter with the upgrades and the country is expected to play a major role in meeting the world's surging energy demand. It doesn't take part in quotas set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries while it rebuilds its energy sector.
Baghdad brought in roughly $34 billion during the first five months of 2011, the deputy minister added.