February 1, 2018 / 9:07 AM / a year ago

Iraq plans to boost Majnoon oilfield output to 450,000 bpd in three years

A worker walks through the Majnoon oilfield in Basra, 420 km (261 miles) southeast of Baghdad, October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq plans to increase production at its giant Majnoon oilfield to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) in three years, from 240,000 bpd now, an Iraqi oil executive said on Thursday.

State-owned Basra Oil Company is currently studying offers from three oilfield services companies to build a new production platform to boost output at the field in southern Iraq, Ahmed Abdul Razzaq, the head of a committee in charge of developing the field, told Reuters.

Basra Oil is taking over operations at Majnoon from Royal Dutch Shell which announced its intention to exit the field, which entered production in 2014, by the end of June.

Chevron, Total and PetroChina may form a consortium later on to take over the development of the field, Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in November.

Shell said it would focus its efforts on the development and growth of the Basra Gas Company after handing over operations at Majnoon to the Iraqi government.

Basra Gas Company processes natural gas produced alongside crude oil from the southern fields. It is a joint venture between Shell, Iraqi state-owned South Gas Company, Mitsubishi and the Petrochemical Project NEBRAS.

With an output of 4.36 million bpd in January, Iraq is the second-largest producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), after Saudi Arabia.

The country is producing below its maximum capacity of nearly 5 million bpd under an agreement between OPEC and other exporters including Russia to curtail global supply in order to support oil prices.

Reporting Aref Mohamed; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Adrian Croft

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