- Title: IRAQ/FILE: Oil reserves 30% up says oil minister
- Date: 5th October 2010
- Summary: (FILE) BASRA, IRAQ (2010) (REUTERS): OILFIELD IN SOUTHERN IRAQI CITY OF BASRA MORE OF OILFIELD OIL INSTALLATION AND DIGGING TOWERS AT OILFIELD
- Embargoed: 20th October 2010 13:00
- Topics: Energy
- Reuters ID: LVA1VR1Z69CGB6QJVP9BMNDW86GH
- Story Text: Iraq raised its proven oil reserves to 143 billion barrels on Monday (October 4) and officials said they expected the new figure to help them boost their OPEC export quota in the future.
Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said the newly yielded figures at the West Qurna and Zubair fields helped increase the total and said he expects the figure to increase further because the nation had undiscovered fields.
The former Iraq figure of 115 billion barrels in proven oil reserves, the world's third largest total, was believed to be based on outdated data.
The new reserve figure was reached with the help of international oil companies working in Iraq, Shahristani said in a news conference.
"Present proven oil reserve, which can be extracted by available techniques is 143.1 billion barrels. Iraq's former declared proven reserves was 115 billion barrels. Five billion barrels have been extracted until January 1, 2010, thus bringing the Iraq's proven oil reserves to 110 billion barrels . The new oil reserves, as I mentioned is 143.1 billion barrels, that is an increase of 30 percent over Iraq's former oil proven reserves," Shahristani said.
The oil minister said that the oil reserve is for 66 discovered oil fields in Iraq and that there were many yet undiscovered oilfields in the nation.
"When we study and discover new oilfields and develop techniques, we can increase this percentage of the reserves. In addition, I expect other yet undiscovered oilfields will add to Iraq's reserves," Shahristani added.
Shahristani said the field at West Qurna had reserves of 43.302 billion barrels, making it the second largest field in the world.
He also said Iraq's OPEC partners would need to come up with a new mechanism to determine production quotas for OPEC members but the issue was not currently being discussed.
"We will not discuss the Iraqi quotas issue with OPEC now. This case has been delayed for some time," Shahristani said.
The oil ministry has been carrying out 3D seismic surveys in different parts of the country to update its oil reserves data.
Iraq has had limited exploration activity in decades and unrevised data is largely based on less advanced technology.
The news comes at a time when oil majors are moving ahead with a series of deals to unlock vast reserves that could boost Iraq's production capacity to Saudi Arabia's levels of 12 million barrels per day from a figure of 2.5 million now.
The deals could provide Iraq with the billions of dollars it needs to rebuild after years of war, sanctions and decline.
A rise in Iraq's proven reserves is unlikely to change the global energy scene, or Iraq's oil outlook, in the short term, however it can play a significant role in cementing Iraq's position as an oil power, strengthening its hand within OPEC, analysts said.
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