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Exxon Mobil reaches milestone in Iraq

Exxon Mobil reaches milestone in Iraq
UPI/Alexis C. Glenn | License Photo

BASRA, Iraq, March 28 (UPI) -- Exxon Mobil and its Iraqi partners reached "a major milestone" for oil production at the West Qurna oil field in southern Iraq, an Iraqi executive said.

West Qurna is about 40 miles northwest of Basra near outlets to the Persian Gulf.

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Exxon Mobil announced field production at West Qurna-1 rose from 244,000 barrels of oil per day to 285,000 bpd under the terms of a technical services contract.

"This is a major milestone in West Qurna-1 achievements and is a result of the teamwork and efforts of the West Qurna-1 co-venturers," Dheyaa Jaafar, director general of Iraq's South Oil. Co., said in a statement.

Exxon Mobil said it could eventually produce around 2.8 million barrels of oil per day from West Qurna-1.

Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi unveiled a plan last week that, he said, would increase crude production in Iraq from 2.6 million barrels per day to nearly 6.5 million bpd by the end of 2014.

Iraq sits on at least 140 billion barrels of oil and much of the country remains unexplored. Luaibi's plan is centered on 15 oil and natural gas deals that Iraq signed with international energy companies during the past year and a half.

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Analysts said Iraq may lack the infrastructure, however, to meet Luaibi's objectives.

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