Iraq’s oil minister has announced plans to invest up to US$ 150 billion in boosting the country’s future oil output to 12 million bpd. The minister, Abdul Kareem Luaiby, was quoted as saying, “Iraq can reach 9 million barrels per day in 2018 and I believe we can exceed 12 million barrels per day given the massive potential of our fields … reaching that capacity could involve investment of US$ 130 – 150 billion, which could be shouldered by the foreign companies developing our fields.”
At present, the country produces approximately 3.25 million bpd with a target of 3.5 million by the end of 2013. Despite being a member of OPEC, Iraq is exempt from production quotas and relies heavily on crude oil exports to continue rebuilding its long-neglected and recently war-torn economy.
With the region facing political instability and continuing violence in some areas as well as comparatively harsh contracts that have put off some major oil and gas producers, many analysts had assumed Iraq’s target of target of 9 million bpd to be somewhat far-fetched. However, the IEA’s recent World Energy Outlook 2012 predicted that Iraq’s production is still set to grow significantly in the coming decades, with a predicted output of just over 6 million bpd by 2020 and just over 8 million bpd by 2035. Growth at these levels would, according to the IEA, account for 45% of total global production growth.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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