Federal Iraq’s crude production, already at record-breaking volumes, received a further boost this week. Operator PetroChina announced on 26 September that Phase-3 development of its 4.1bn barrel Halfaya field has been completed, doubling the heavy oil field’s current capacity from 200,000 b/d to 400,000 b/d. 

“On September 20, the third central processing station at Halfaya successfully started up, 13 oil well valves were opened, and oil and gas output entered the...