London — Iraq's oil production in August averaged 4.622 million b/d, slightly down from a previous estimate of 4.638 million b/d but still a new production record, according to revised estimates from Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization released Tuesday.
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The latest estimate is represents a 16,000 b/d increase from July and is the fourth time Iraq has passed the 4.5 million b/d threshold, according to official data.
SOMO did not provide a breakdown of production between the federal government and semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in its statement.
The data includes output from state-owned North Oil Co., Midland Oil Co., and an estimated output from KRG.
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Analysts told S&P Global Platts that the oil ministry has consistently overestimated KRG production, and hence the country's total, since December 2015.
According to Iraqi oil industry experts, the ministry could be hoping to use the higher numbers as a bargaining tool for possible production freeze talks among OPEC members, as the producer group prepares to meet in Algeria next September.
But Iraqi exports from the southern Basrah terminals along with a substantial increase in its domestic refining have contributed to higher production this summer for OPEC's second-largest oil producer.
Platts' latest OPEC survey, released September 8, estimated Iraqi output in August at 4.32 million b/d.
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