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Iraq expects oil growth to nearly double govt spending

Deputy minister for energy says spending could rise to more than $500 billion by 2020

Reuters, Wednesday 10 Oct 2012
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Views: 521

Iraq's expansion of its oil industry will let the government nearly double spending over the next three years, the deputy prime minister for energy said on Wednesday.

The Iraqi parliament approved a budget of $100 billion for 2012 in February, based on an average oil price of $85 per barrel and 2.6 million bpd in exports.
Since OPEC ministers last met in June, Brent crude oil prices have surged about 20 per cent and have hovered around $112-$117 a barrel since mid-August, despite fragile economic growth in many consuming countries.
"The current Iraq oil policy has enabled the government to double its budget in just three years and it will be increased by another 80 per cent between 2012 and 2015," Hussain al-Shahristani said.
Iraq, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves and has focused on building up its oil industry, which funds about 95 per cent of its budget, after years of crippling wars and sanctions.
Shahristani said earlier on Wednesday the country aimed to produce 5-6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) by 2015, with a view to reaching a target of 9-10 million bpd by 2020. Current production was 3.4 million bpd, he added.
Shahristani also said he expected spending in the more distant future to rise to more than $500 billion by 2020.
In September Iraq sent a preliminary budget of $118 billion for 2013 to the cabinet for approval, based on a world oil price of $90 a barrel and oil exports at 2.9 million bpd.
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