Iraq needs to develop hundreds of oilfields a year to become the world's top oil reservoir, Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammad Rashid said Sunday, November 11.
"Iraq needs to develop hundreds of oilfields a year to turn its potential reserves into proven reserves and become the world's top reservoir," he said, quoted by the official INA news agency. "To that end, Iraq will resort to foreign firms in the short term, while favoring domestic and Arab firms in oil prospecting," he said.
Iraq's proven reserves currently stand at 112 billion barrels, leaving it in second place behind Saudi Arabia, whose reserves are estimated at 261 billion barrels. Rashid said in August that Iraq aims to increase its oil reserves to 270 billion barrels by transforming potential reserves into proven reserves.
The Iraqi minister also called again on Sunday for an "immediate cut" of OPEC's output by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in order to boost slumping oil prices. "Iraq will urge the OPEC conference (scheduled for Wednesday in Vienna) to slash output immediately by 1.5 million bpd in order to eliminate the glut on the oil market," he said.
Iraq, which has been under a UN embargo since August 1990, is excluded from OPEC's output quota system. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )