Shahristani said Iraq was aiming to raise production to 3 million b/d by the end of the year and 4 million b/d by 2010. Output is expected to rise further with the imminent restart of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline for the first time in a year.

In anticipation of the restart, State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) awarded the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation and Turkey’s Tupras sales tenders for 4 million barrels on 27 June.

SOMO was also expected to receive bids on 29 June for the sale of a further 6 million

barrels.