8-9-2012 Bloomberg: Iraq Oil Tops 3 Million Barrels for First Time Since 2002. Iraq’s crude output rose above 3 million barrels a day last month for the first time since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Iraq pumped 3.08 million barrels a day in July, 115,000 barrels more than the previous month, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said today in its Monthly Oil Market Report. The Persian Gulf state for a second month outpaced Iran, where output dropped by 173,000 barrels to 2.82 million. Iraq last produced more than 3 million barrels in February 2002, OPEC said after revising its April estimate. Iraqi production is increasing as overseas investors such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and BP Plc develop new fields and rework older deposits. The country has held several licensing rounds for oil and natural gas fields since the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule and more than two decades of stagnation caused by wars, sanctions and underinvestment. “Growth should have been higher had the KRG continued its exports,” said Ciszuk. “These oil companies operating in the north need to monetize their oil.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...ince-2002.html