International Energy Agency said on Wednesday that Iraq is capable of more than doubling its crude oil production within three years, with the pace of further growth slowing steeply afterwards.
Iraq -which is the world’s fourth-largest reserve – signed deals with major oil firms to boost the production level that is about 2.9 million bpd currently to be as high as 12 million bpd by 2017, what would allows Iraq to be betting on the competition with top global producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Officials have said that the target could be reduced to around 8 million bpd, as Iraq struggles to rebuild its dilapidated infrastructure and faces daily violence and sabotage attacks nearly nine years after the US-led invasion.
The chief economist “Fatih Birol” of the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday that he believed that Iraq could achieve a production target of 6.5 million bpd by 2015 but it could take up to 20 years to increase it to 8 million bpd, and he stated “Many Iraqi interlocutors I met are talking about 6.5 million bpd by 2015 and I don’t think that this is an unrealistic target, but of course many challenges remain,”, as Iraq daily journal stated.
He also said “We have projected that Iraq production can come to around 8 million bpd in the next 20 years. That can be higher and lower depending on global oil markets”.
Birol said that the current oil price, which last week hit a 10-month high in dollar terms and an all-time high in Euros and British pounds, was too high for consumers and it could specifically hurt Asian economy giants China and India, as oil prices have been rallying in the past months on fears of a loss of Iranian supplies amid a standoff with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program.