Iraq has increased its own estimate for its crude reserves by almost 5 percent to 150 billion barrels, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said.
The government raised its figure from 143.1 billion barrels, Luaibi told reporters in Baghdad. “The increase comes from the Dima oil field and some new studies in some oil fields, and we will soon announce the details,” he said. Asim Jihad, the ministry’s spokesman, said on Jan. 21 that oil producers have discovered 1 billion barrels of light crude reserves at Dima in southern Iraq.
Iraq produces 3.15 million barrels a day of crude and will increase output by a further 135,000 barrels a day by the end of June, Al-Luaibi said. The Majnoon oil field will produce 100,000 barrels a day from May and the Ghaffar field 35,000 barrels a day starting in June, he said.
Majnoon’s output will rise to 175,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, the minister said. The field in southern Iraq is developed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Gharraf is operated by Petroliam Nasional Bhd and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co.
The Middle Eastern country has sought foreign investment and expertise to generate the exports needed to pay for rebuilding an economy and infrastructure destroyed by decades of war, sanctions and sabotage. The nation awarded oil and gas exploration licenses to companies such as Shell, Total SA and BP Plc after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 ousted the regime of former President Saddam Hussein.
The Oil Ministry’s figure for reserves doesn’t include deposits in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north of the country. The Kurdistan Regional Government estimates that its territories hold 45 billion barrels of oil.
Iraq has additional deposits that may bring its total reserves to 214 billion barrels, Hussain al-Shahristani, the country’s deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said at a conference in London on April 18, 2012.
Iraq has the world’s fifth-biggest reserves, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada have the largest deposits including oil sands and heavy oil deposits, according to the review.