13 Dec 2009

Iraq plans huge rise in oil capacity

11:13 am on 13 December 2009

Iraq's oil capacity could reach 12 million barrels per day in six years, the country's oil minister says, making it the world's second-largest producer.

Hussein al-Shahristani says oil producers would not necessarily operate at full capacity, but would take into account demand.

Iraq has completed its second international oil auction, awarding seven contracts to foreign firms to develop major oil fields, the BBC reports.

It included a joint bid by Russian and Norwegian oil firms which won the contract for the West Qurna field, said to have reserves of 13 billion barrels.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has a capacity of 12.5 million barrels per day.