Addressing an energy conference in the Jordanian capital Amman, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi said, "We seek with international companies to produce three million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2011, and export 2.5 million bpd s next year. We are implementing a plan that is unprecedented in the history of Iraq's oil industry, multiplying oil and gas production to four times and building gigantic infrastructure and projects to turn Iraq into a key energy source in the world."
Al-Luaybi conference comments will doubtless be closely observed by the 46 foreign oil firms in attendance, NOW Lebanon online journal reported.
Following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Iraqi oil production slumped dramatically, but eight years later the country currently produces around 2.7 million bpd and Baghdad hopes to increase that figure to 12 million bpd within the next five years, which would place Iraqi production ahead of both Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation, which currently produce roughly 10 million bpd.
The Iraqi government’s projected increases are regarded as overly optimistic in some quarters, including the International Monetary Fund, which has voiced doubts over whether Iraq’s 2016 target is attainable.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com