Iraq, the lone OPEC member not required to participate in the cartel's quota system, has raised its daily oil output by 300,000 barrels to 2.7 million barrels since some western oil majors won contracts to produce at some of Iraq's largest oil fields. The country is hoping to boost daily output to 3 million barrels by the end of this year.
Iraq's production has been mired in the 2.5 million barrels per day range since U.S.-led forces toppled the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Iraq has set an ambitious target of increasing daily output to some 12 million barrels a day in less than a decade, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Infrastructure and engineering issues could make the 12 million barrels per day target hard to meet industry experts believe. Still, with oil prices climbing and production of the commodity accounting for almost all of the government's revenue, even slight upticks in production would be beneficial for the country and global oil consumers.
Production at the supergiant Rumaila oil field, Iraq's largest, in the southern Basra governorate, has reached 1.275 million barrels a day, a 20% jump, the Journal reported. Production there could reach 1.5 million barrels per day by the end of 2011. Output at Zubair is currently 265,000 barrels per day.