28 Dec 2010

Milestone for Iraqi oil

10:59 am on 28 December 2010

Iraq's oil output is at its highest level for 20 years. Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said production currently exceeds 2.6 million barrels per day.

However, the BBC reports this volume still falls short of the three million barrels per day that the country was producing in the late 1980s, before it invaded Kuwait.

Mr Luaibi said on Saturday that Iraq aims to raise oil output to 3 million barrels per day by the end of 2011 and to reach 12 million bpd in six to seven years.

But analysts say 6-7 million bpd is a more realistic target.

Mr Luaibi also said Kurdish exports were expected to resume soon, but said there was no specific timeline.

Before the flow was halted last year, the Kurdish region was exporting around 100,000 barrels per day.

Oil exports provide Iraq with about 95% of its federal revenue.