The Middle East continued to boost oil production in 2015 despite a significant drop in crude prices from a year earlier, according to UK-based BPs annual energy review.
Regional output increased by 5.4 per cent the fastest of any region driven by significant increases by Opec producers Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran.
The region produced an average of 30.1 million barrels a day (b/d) of oil, including crude and natural gas liquids (NGLs), compared with 28.6 million b/d in 2014.
All regions increased oil production in 2015, with North American production also growing rapidly by 4.7 per cent, driven by the US.
Oil production increased worldwide despite a significant slide in prices. Brent crude averaged $52.39 a barrel in 2015 compared with almost $100 a barrel in 2014, as oversupply weighed on the market.
The biggest increase in the Middle East came from Iraq, which boosted production by 22.9 per cent to 4.03 million b/d, overtaking Iran and the UAE to become the regions second-largest producer.
Saudi Arabias crude and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production climbed by 4.6 per cent to 12.01 million b/d, making it the second-largest producer in the world after the US. Iran boosted crude production by 4.5 per cent to 3.92 million b/d, while the UAEs output increased by 5.3 per cent to 3.9 million b/d.
Elsewhere, Kuwait saw a moderate drop of 1.1 per cent to 3.01 million b/d, while Qatar was down 0.4 per cent to 1.9 million b/d.
Oil consumption grew by a more modest 2.1 per cent to 9.57 million b/d, leaving with the region with higher export volumes.
All countries in the Middle East increased gas production in 2015, with the exception of Kuwait and war-torn Syria and Yemen. Gas output rose by 3.1 per cent in the region as a whole to 59.8 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d).
The regions major gas producers all saw significant increases in production. Iran output was up 5.7 per cent to 18.6 billion cf/d, while Qatar boosted production by 4.2 per cent to 17.6 billion cf/d. Saudi output rose 4 per cent to 10.3 billion cf/d, in line with increased consumption.