CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 1 (UPI) -- Iraqi plans to boost oil production to 12 million barrels per day are incredibly ambitious, a report by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates said.
Iraq emerged from its second round of post-war oil auctions in December with the confidence to say it could rival Saudi Arabia in terms of oil production.
A report by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, however, said Iraq's timetable of passing the 10 million bpd mark within six years outpaces Russia and Saudi Arabia, where war and despotism haven't ravaged the infrastructure.
Bhushan Bahree, senior Middle East director at IHS, said Iraq has a litany of challenges to overcome before it can re-emerge as an oil production giant.
"The political, security, operational and infrastructure challenges in the country, along with a likely shortage of skilled personnel, are likely to hamper progress toward such an unprecedented achievement," he said.
IHS singles out the expectation of a new government in Iraq as a short-term hurdle to the country's production expectations. Any new government emerging from March 7 parliamentary elections is likely to review foreign oil contracts signed under the previous administration.
IHS said achieving even half of the 12 million bpd target would constitute a "significant expansion" for Iraq, saying production levels of 6.5 million bpd by 2020 was more realistic. Iraq produces around 2.5 million bpd currently.