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IEA expects Iraqi oil boom

Dec. 21, 2011 at 8:27 AM

PARIS, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Iraq is expected to account for as much as 80 percent of the anticipated production increase from OPEC members, the IEA estimates.

The International Energy Agency in its latest monthly oil report estimates crude oil production from Iraq is on pace to increase 1.87 million barrels per day from 2010-16. This means that by the end of the timeframe, Iraq will produce on average 4.36 million bpd.

The IEA said overall production capacity from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is forecast to increase from 2.33 million bpd to 3.81 million bpd by 2016.

"This revised forecast means that Iraq is expected to account for 80 percent of the increase in OPEC's crude oil production capacity in the six-year period," the IEA said in a statement.

The December report, however, warns of growing political instability in Iraq now that U.S. military forces have formally ended their mission there.

"International oil companies also report that continued bureaucratic, logistical and operational constraints are posing significant challenges and delays to project work, which we have already largely built into our forecast," the monthly report said.

Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi arrested on charges he operated death squads in the country. Authorities in the central government in Baghdad, meanwhile, are at odds with the Kurdish regional government over natural resources.

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