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Crude output resumed at south Iraq field
by Staff Writers
Basra, Iraq (AFP) Oct 10, 2011

Crude output is back to normal levels at the southern section of Iraq's biggest oilfield, a spokesman said on Monday, after being temporarily halted by two bombings at a pipeline over the weekend.

"Oil production from the Rumaila field has resumed at the rate of output before the explosions," oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said.

"The rate of production is 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd)."

"The loss of oil which occurred during the previous days has been compensated via continuous pumping. The incident did not affect exports."

An official at the state-owned South Oil Company, speaking on condition of anonymity, said earlier that production had resumed on Sunday evening.

Production at Rumaila South, a section of the mammoth Rumaila oilfield, stopped temporarily after two bombs detonated late on Friday, sparking a fire and causing damage to a pipeline and production stations.

The Rumaila field is Iraq's biggest, with proven reserves of 17.7 billion barrels of oil. Britain's BP and China's CNPC have had a contract to extract crude from it since 2009.

Oil sales account for the lion's share of government income in Iraq, with the country exporting around 2.2 million bpd. That figure is set to rise by around 300,000 bpd early next year, according to the oil ministry.

Iraq currently produces around 2.9 million bpd, and says it will be capable of output of 12 million by 2017.

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