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Thursday, 22 May 2008

Iraq Claims World's Largest Oil Reserves

Though news of large, untapped oil reserves in Iraq have been floating around under the radar for sometime now, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister has recently claimed that Iraq could have the world's largest proven oil reserves.
Iraq dramatically increased the official size of its oil reserves yesterday after new data suggested that they could exceed Saudi Arabia’s and be the largest in the world.

The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister told The Times that new exploration showed that his country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, with as much as 350 billion barrels. The figure is triple the country’s present proven reserves and exceeds that of Saudi Arabia’s estimated 264 billion barrels of oil. Barham Salih said that the new estimate had been based on recent geological surveys and seismic data compiled by “reputable, international oil companies . . . This is a serious figure from credible sources.”
Waiting in the wings, of course, is the highly anticipated and extremely contentious Iraq Oil Law, seen by foreign petroleum interests as crucial and viewed suspiciously by many Iraqis. The contention, as it still stands, is that most of Iraq's oil reserves remain untapped -- only 27 of 78 known fields are in production -- and it is precisely these untapped reserves that the Oil Law cites for special foreign investment interest, which come complete with what many Iraqis see as potentially excessive profiteering by foreign oil companies.  Previous estimates were doubling reserve estimates, but If these claims by the Iraqi government are to be believed, newly appraised fields, many in the al Anbar province of western Iraq, could  the treble total untapped oil reserves, surely sending oil executives into a swoon.


Posted in Energy & Oil by Anderson at 2:21 PMPermalink

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