Iraq upbeat on oil but concerns exist

March 31, 2011 at 8:12 AM
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BAGHDAD, March 31 (UPI) -- Baghdad energy officials said Iraq was capable of meeting oil production targets depute reports warning that infrastructure might limit ambitions.

The International Monetary Fund, in a Monday report on Iraq, said oil production was set to increase though infrastructure would limit the rise to 5.35 million barrels per day by 2017.

Baghdad, however, is targeting 13 million bpd by 2017 through a series of long-term service contracts awarded to international oil companies to work at some of the country's largest oil fields.

Assim Jihad, a spokesman for the Iraqi oil ministry, said long-term plans for the country were in line with production plans outlined by the international energy companies, the Platts news service reports.

Crude oil began flowing out of the Kurdish region of the country in early February, pushing oil exports to 2.2 million bpd.

Baghdad aims to build more than two dozen storage tanks, production platforms and better links at southern export terminals near Basra to accommodate expected increases in oil production.

Iraqi oil production stands at around 2.7 million bpd.

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