Iraq's petroleum minister claims country has world's largest oil reserves

Jul 30, 2000 02:00 AM

Iraq has the world's largest oil reserves, petroleum minister Amer Rashid has claimed. He did not give figures or mention Saudi Arabia which is generally estimated to have reserves of 261 bn barrels of crude compared to Iraq's 100 bn barrels. "We state that Iraq has enormous oil (production) capacity and reserves which put it in first place among the countries which hold the largest crude reserves in the world," he told.
Rashid said the output from Iraq's southern oil fields alone "is equivalent to that of an OPEC member country and it increases day after day." Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz has also stated this year that Iraq has the largest reserves in the world, and not the second largest as is widely accepted.
Iraq is producing nearly 3 mm bpd of oil and has ambitions to boost output to 6 mm bpd, but admits it needs to invest $ 30 bn in infrastructure to do so. Baghdad has drawn up contracts, mainly with Russian and Chinese companies, to develop its oil fields, but work cannot begin until a UN embargo is lifted.

Source: AFP via Energy24
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