Iraq’s December oil surge caps a year of recovering production

Crude output increased to nearly 4.5 million bpd in December, as Iraq continued opening the taps in response to loosening OPEC-plus quotas.
A Basra Oil Company worker at the Majnoon field's CPF2 during construction, April 19, 2021. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

Iraq's overall oil production recovered steadily in 2021 — rising from just over 4 million barrels per day (bpd) in January to nearly 4.5 million bpd in December — as the OPEC-plus group continues to loosen its pandemic-era quota policy.

All of the increases have come from federally operated fields, while production in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) declined by about 5 percent throughout the year as irregular payments to oil companies and regulatory uncertainty raised red flags for investors.

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