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Iraqi oil production rebounds in 2022, but faces headwinds in 2023

Output recovered to nearly pre-pandemic levels, but OPEC-plus policy and infrastructure constraints could keep Iraq from making further production gains in the new year.
Iraqi Drilling Company workers stand in front of a drilling rig at the Majnoon oil field after completing Well 141 in November 2022. (Photo credit: IDC)

Iraq produced 4.62 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in December, taking the nationwide average for the year to 4.61 million bpd, according to a field-by-field count by Iraq Oil Report.*

This was a significant increase over the 2021 average of 4.198 million bpd, when Iraq had to comply with steep OPEC-plus output cuts introduced in 2020 after prices and demand plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Production recovered steadily in the first half of 2022 as the OPEC-plus alliance loosened its restrictions, but weakening prices mid-year caused the 23-nation group to reduce its collective quota by 2 million bpd from November, which forced Iraq to throttle back production from the peak of 4.74 million bpd it achieved in August and September.

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