Iraq Will Increase Oil Reserves, Al-Shahristani Says


"The level is going to go higher, we're revising it now."

Iraq will increase its estimate of crude reserves, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said.

The level "is going to go higher, we're revising it now," al-Shahristani said in Vienna today.

The Middle Eastern country, the only member of the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries without a quota, had reserves of 115 billion barrels at the end of 2008, according to BP Plc's Statistical Review. It's producing 2.5 million barrels of oil a day and exporting slightly more than two million barrels, al-Shahristani said. Exports from the semi- autonomous Kurdistan region will resume within a month, he said.

DNO International ASA, the first foreign company to pump oil in Iraq since the 1970s, halted exports from the Tawke field through Turkey in September as the Baghdad government disputed contracts DNO and companies such as Addax Petroleum Corp. signed with the Kurdish authorities.

"We expect to resume exports from the Tawke field shortly, within a month," al-Shahristani said today. "The deals are not acceptable but the issue of exporting oil from those fields is a completely separate issue from the contracts that were signed."

DNO, which operates Tawke and two other licenses in the area, will increase output, al-Shahristani said.

"Last time when we exported a few months ago we reached about 40,000 barrels a day, they tell us now they are able to produce more, hopefully able to reach 100,000 barrels a day within a few months," he said.

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