Iraq Raises Oil Reserves To 150 Billion Barrels

Iraq has raised its estimated proven crude oil reserves to 150 billion barrels from 143 billion barrels, with more oil discovered in oil fields being upgraded by international oil companies and from a new oil field in southern Iraq, the Iraqi oil minister said Wednesday.

"The calculations that we have carried, indicated that our oil reserves have increased to 150 billion barrels," Abdul Kareem Luaiby told reporters.

The new reserves come from Dima oil field and from other fields, Mr. Luaiby said. Dima is in Missan province, southeast of Baghdad near the border with Iran.

The state-owned Missan Oil Co. restarted work at the field in January 2012. In February 2013, the firm completed its first exploration well and found oil in the field.

If the new added reserves were confirmed, Iraq, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, will rank as the world's No. 3 in crude oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Iraq's proven oil reserves don't include those of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, where many international oil companies are carrying out exploration and early development. Kurdish officials have estimated some 40 billion barrels of oil in Kurdistan.

Mr. Luaiby also said Iraq is producing some 3.150 million barrels a day now and it is expected to add around 200,000 barrels a day by the end of this year from fields such as Majnoon and Garraf which is being developed by consortia led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Malaysia's Petronas, respectively.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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