Iraq oil production set to surpass Iran

Iraq_production_1Iraq is targeting a production of 3.4 million bpd this year. (Image source: Muhannad Fala'ah/Getty)Iraq's oil production has surpassed three million bpd as the country prepares to overtake Iranian production by the end of the year

The country's crude production rose by 195,000 barrels per day in April to touch 3.03 million for the first time since 1979, while oil exports rose to 2.51 million bpd, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Iraq has targeted production of 3.4 million bpd this year and more than 4 million barrels in 2013, according to Oil Ministry spokesman, Asim Jihad.

The country has been leading the rise in OPEC supplies.

"OPEC crude supply in April rose by 410,000 bpd, to 31.85 million bpd. Higher Iraqi exports accounted for half of the incremental supply," IEA noted.

Iraq's ascendancy in the global oil sector comes at a time when its former rival Iran is facing considerable decline due to EU and US sanctions.

According to the IEA, Iran's sales have dropped by 400,000 bpd to 2.1 million during the first quarter of the year while Iraq shipped a daily average of 2.145 million bpd during the same period.

With the fourth round of oil auction due at the end of this month, there has been a lot of expectation that Iraq would embark on a strong growth path that would benefit global supplies and help the country earn revenues to build its infrastructure.

Iraq's rise has been considered to be an important dynamic in the global oil market and across the Gulf region.

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