• The production target for 2015 is an average of 3.8 million barrels a day
  • An average of 3.13 million barrels a day were produced in the first five months of 2015
  • Factors limiting oil sector expansion low oil prices and a lack of pipeline capacity

The IMF has said that Iraq is unlikely to meet the production and export targets set in its approved 2015 budget.

In the budget, the government set a production target of 3.8 million barrels a day (b/d), and an export target of 3.3 million b/d.

“Achieving these levels will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, task despite continued growth in oil production and exports,” the IMF said in a report published on 18 August.

Average production for the first five months of the year was 3.13 million b/d, while exports averaged at 2.87 million b/d.

Oil sector expansion is being limited by a number of factors, including the ongoing war with the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), according to the IMF.

“Fear of continuation or outbreak of new hostilities could suspend implementation of the next phases of some of the existing projects or deter IOCs from starting new projects,” it said in the report.

Other factors include low oil prices, insufficient storage facilities, the limitations of technical services contracts, insufficient pipeline capacity, cumbersome bureaucratic procedures, and delays to the Common Seawater Supply Project.

The Common Seawater Supply Project will supply oilfields in southern Iraq with water that can be injected into wells to boost production.

Iraqi oil production climbed to an all-time high of 4.18 million b/d in July, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This was up from an average of 4.15 million b/d in June.