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Iraq Crude Output Rises to Highest Since 1979, Oil Ministry Says

Iraq crude output has risen to the highest level since 1979, according to the Oil Ministry.

The nation is producing 3.328 million barrels a day, the ministry said in a statement on the website of the official National Media Center today. That includes 2.484 million barrels a day from the oil hub of Basra in the south.

Iraq overtook Iran in June as the second-biggest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to International Energy Agency data. Its daily crude output was at 3.2 million barrels earlier this month, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said Sept. 15.

The Middle East nation’s average exports increased to 2.619 barrels a day, the Oil Ministry said today. Exports in August climbed for a fourth month to 2.57 barrels a day, Falah al-Amri, head of the State Oil Marketing Organization, said Sept. 1.

Iraq holds the world’s fifth-biggest crude reserves, according to BP Plc statistics that include Canada’s oil sands. The country plans to raise its oil export capacity to 2.9 million barrels a day in 2013, Luaibi said Sept. 15.

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