418. IRAQ MOBILIZING
Four times current production would put about 8 or 9 million barrels a day of new oil exports on the market.Iraq aims to increase oil production by up to four times: minister
ISTANBUL — Iraq aims to increase its oil production by up to four times with the development of 10 new fields to be auctioned later this year, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said Tuesday.
The minister spoke after a meeting with oil companies in Istanbul to present the new fields and the terms for the tender, which will follow a first-round bidding in June that saw investors snub all but one of eight contracts on offer.
Iraq expects production from the new fields slated for auction "to be several million barrels per day", Shahristani said.
"So combining the fields of the first and second round, Iraq should increase its production to at least three to four times of its current production," he said.
Iraq, which has the world's third largest oil reserves, is yet to catch up with output levels prior to the US-led invasion in 2003, hit by deadly unrest and tensions between Baghdad and the oil-rich autonomous Kurdish region in the north.
Iraq currently produces around 2.4 million barrels per day, with oil accounting for some 85 percent of government revenues. It exports some two million barrels per day, most of it from the fields of the southern province of Basra. Link