LONDON, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- There is a significant potential for Iraq to boost its crude oil output beyond current levels given the legacy of industry neglect, an analyst said.
Iraqi oil production in July passed the 3 million barrel mark, putting it near the top among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It's estimated that the country has around 143 million barrels of oil reserves.
Samuel Ciszuk, an energy consultant at London's KBC Energy Economics, told The Wall Street Journal that further expansion was expected from post-war Iraq.
"Iraq sits on very bountiful oil reserves and for decades there was too little investment to develop these," he said. "So the capacity to lift production even significantly above today's levels is there."
The lack of infrastructure for major oil exports and political disputes between Baghdad and the semiautonomous government in the Kurdish north have dampened overall expectations.
The Kurdish government in August, however, reversed an export boycott in order to persuade the central government to settle outstanding payments for crude oil.
Ciszuk said that if both sides can hammer out their differences, "Iraqi exports would indeed grow by about 175,000 to 200,000 barrels a day more" by the end of the year.
|Additional Energy Resources Stories|
WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) --U.S. President Barack Obama was the last obstacle to getting the Keystone XL oil pipeline built through the country, the chairman of a House committee said.