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Iraq sets oil bar too high, lawmaker says

March 26, 2013 at 6:11 AM   |   Comments

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 26 (UPI) -- Iraq won't be able to meet oil production targets next year in part because of government bureaucracy, a lawmaker said from Dubai.

Thamir Ghadhban, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said at a Dubai energy conference that Iraq's oil production should average 2.9 million barrels per day this year.

Iraq as of February was producing 3.2 million bpd, Bloomberg News reports.

In December, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said Iraq could get close to its 1979 record of 3.8 million bpd this year. Next year's target is 4.5 million bpd.

Bloomberg News quoted Adnan al-Janabi, chairman of a parliamentary energy committee, however, as saying the targets aren't realistic.

"I don't think we can reach 4.5 million barrels a day next year," he said.

Iraq lacks an energy law covering the entire country's oil sector. Disputes over jurisdiction between the semiautonomous Kurdish government and the central government have affected oil development in Iraq.

The International Monetary Fund recommended that Iraq look beyond oil for long-term economic growth. Carlo Sdralevich, senior IMF economist for the Middle East and Central Asia, said the overall economy of Iraq suffers from "severe structural weakness."

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