DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Oil production from Iraq could eclipse Saudi Arabia within the next 10 years, the chief executive of British supermajor BP told delegates at an economic summit.
Tony Hayward told the delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Iraq could increase its oil production from 2.5 million barrels per day to 10 million bpd by 2020, the Times of London reports.
BP joined the China National Petroleum Co. to rehabilitate the Rumaila oil field near the southern Iraqi port city of Basra. Rumaila could produce at least 1 million barrels of oil per day, Hayward noted.
Iraq sits on more than 100 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and the oil potential in the western deserts remain unexplored.
Hayward cautioned, however, that mismanagement under the Baathist government of Iraq, conflict and economic sanctions created a myriad of challenges.
"The realities of the challenges of execution on the ground and the need to build capability on the ground mean things will happen a little slower than all of us are perhaps planning for today," he warned.