Iraq sees oil output at 3 mln bpd by year-end

* Additional 500,000-1 million bpd forecast in 2012

* Shahristani satisfied with Rumaila field development

* Iraq backs OPEC output increase if this to meet demand

By Rania El Gamal

RUMAILA, Iraq, June 4 (Reuters) – Iraq expects its oil output to rise to 3 million barrels per day by the end of this year and sees it growing an additional 500,000 to 1 million bpd next year, Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said on Saturday.

Shahristani said Iraq’s programme to install new single point moorings or SPMs would help increase export capacity by an additional 1.8 million bpd by the end of this year.

The OPEC member’s current output is about 2.7 million to 2.8 million bpd. Iraq’s oil exports in May averaged 2.225 million bpd.

“Export terminals and pipelines will not be the obstacle,” Shahristani told reporters.

Iraq is rebuilding its oil infrastructure after years of conflict and has signed deals with oil majors to reach a proposed production capacity of 12 million bpd by 2017. Most analysts see 6-7 million bpd as more realistic.

Shahristani fended off speculation about Iraq’s ability to reach this ambitious oil development target, saying work was going as planned during a three-day visit to southern oilfields and export facilities.

He said he was satisfied with the pace of development at the country’s giant Rumaila oilfield and added output there should reach 1.4 million to 1.5 million bpd by the end of this year.

He put current output from the field at about 1.250 million bpd. Rumaila, developed by BP and China’s CNPC, produces almost half of the country’s crude output.

Shahristani said oil officials had taken measures to lessen the huge amount of flared gas from Rumaila and were installing plants to generate power using the flared gas. He did not give further details.

The deputy prime minister, who is responsible for Iraq’s energy affairs, made his comments on Rumaila after a closed-door meeting with BP, CNPC and Iraqi oil officials at the oilfield.

He also told Reuters Iraq supported an increase in OPEC production if a hike were needed to meet rising global demand.

OPEC oil ministers meet on June 8 in Vienna to decide output policy.

“Iraq supports an increase in production if there are studies indicating a rise in global demand for crude,” he said.