Lukoil has increased crude production at its West Qurna-2 oil field development in Iraq to just over 400,000 barrels a day (b/d), according to senior vice president of Lukoil Overseas Gati Al-Jabouri.

The Russian group has now hit its target for the first phase of the development known as Early Oil that was commissioned in 2014.

The company is working towards a production plateau of 1.2 million b/d through the development of three phases. The company has invested over $5bn in Iraq since it entered Iraq in 2009.

More than $38bn is going to be invested in the field, said Al-Jebouri.

“Today, after introduction of Basra Heavy, curtailment of production no longer exists and we are producing just over 400,000 b/d,” he added, referring to the new grade of crude Iraq started exporting from Basra in early June.

Al-Jebouri welcomed the reduction of the Iraqi Oil Ministry’s reduction of the country’s oil production target to 5.5-6 million b/d by 2020 from a previous target of 9 million.

“I was pleasantly surprised… We believe it is a more realistic target,” said Al-Jebouri, speaking at the Iraq Petroleum conference in London on 9 June.

He estimated that it would require $10bn of investment just for Iraqi to maintain its current level of production and $100bn would be needed to hit the previous official target of 9 million b/d.

“Today’s environment is not conducive to such large investments,” said the Lukoil vice president.

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