By Kadhim Ajrash - Jul 14, 2011 12:11 PM ET
Iraq will raise its oil-production as planned to 12 million barrels a day in the next few years, even if actual production is only half that amount, depending on market demand, an Oil Ministry spokesman said.
“The planned production capacity is 12 million barrels a day, but we may only produce 6 million barrels a day,” Asim Jihad told state-sponsored Iraqiya television. “Iraq will produce in accordance with global crude market needs.”
Iraq, home to the world’s fifth-biggest oil reserves, is struggling to boost energy exports, the main source of revenue to help rebuild an economy shattered by years of conflict, economic sanctions and sabotage. The country has signed 15 gas and oil licenses since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that ousted the regime of President Saddam Hussein.
Production will rise to 3.3 million barrels a day next year and reach 4.5 million barrels a day by 2014, Jihad said. Export capacity will be raised to 7 million barrels a day. The country plans to build four or five offshore export terminals in the south and more than 16 storage tanks to ease shipments, he said. Iraq has also reached agreements with Turkey and Syria on projects including two oil pipelines to Syria.
Iraq is now producing 2.75 million barrels a day of oil for the first time since 2003 and is exporting 2.2 million barrels a day, Thamir Ghadhban, chairman of the advisory commission to the prime minister, said yesterday at a conference in London.
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