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Iraq could have twice as much oil as thought
A study has indicated that Iraq could have twice as much oil as previously thought, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The study, conducted by US consultancy IHS and the first comprehensive probe of its type since the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, concludes that a further 100 billion barrels of oil could be located under Iraq's western deserts.
London: Iraq's promising oilfields can be tapped for less than $2 a barrel and could double the nation's output to 4 million barrels a day in five years provided security improves, IHS consultancy said.
The company's Iraq Atlas, to be released on May 9, pegs Iraq's oil reserves at 116 billion barrels, in line with industry estimates, and says there could be a further 100 billion barrels lying beneath its western desert.
"Iraq's reserves are clearly phenomenal. Once the infrastructure is in place, the oil will come out of the ground quite cheaply," said Ron Mobed, president and chief operating officer of IHS.
Baghdad reckons up to $25 billion must be spent on the country's infrastructure, which is collapsing after more than a decade of sanctions under Saddam Hussain and four years of violence after the US-led invasion.
Oil law awaited
This sum would be essential to reach and help exceed the four million bpd target.
Mobed said those estimates may prove conservative if capital costs continue to spiral and that security in Iraq would need to improve for capacity to expand.