DUBAI (AFP) – War-torn Iraq seeks to raise oil production to three million barrels per day (bpd) next year and to six million bpd within a decade, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani said on Saturday.
The plan is to hike output “from just under 2.5 million bpd (now) to three million bpd by 2008 and 3.5 million bpd by the end of 2009,” he told industry executives and experts at the start of an “Iraq Petroleum 2007” conference in the United Arab Emirates.
Iraq looks to then increase crude production “to four million bpd in the short term and six million bpd in the medium term,” or about 10 years, Shahristani said.
Shahristani said that to reach its targets, Iraq needs to improve the oil infrastructure by building a new eastern pipeline and export pipelines through neighbouring countries, in addition to new oil terminals south of the existing Basra terminal.
Iraq’s oil production has been hit by decades of under-investment in infrastructure, including during 13 years of UN sanctions, and rampant insecurity since the US-led invasion of 2003.
“Some 50 discovered fields await developers,” Shahristani said.