Oil production rising, but problems loom

IOCs are investing enough to boost Iraq's overall output despite tight budgets, but short-term fixes are masking fundamental issues that could undermine medium-term growth.
Oil production rising, but problems loom
Rigs working the Rumaila oilfield in Basra on Sept. 4, 2014. At 1.4 million bpd of capacity, it is the country's largest producing field, and is in need of water re-injection to maintain pressure. [ESSAM AL-SUDANI/Reuters]

International oil companies (IOCs) are expecting to help Iraq achieve modest production gains in the next year - a sign that the oil sector is weathering a series of interlocking security, financial and political crises.

"Everyone across the board is adding something: 20,000 bpd here, 30,000 bpd there," said one oil executive working in Iraq. "We will sustain production and still [see] small increases by the end of the year."

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