BAGHDAD, Oct 10: Iraq insisted on Wednesday its oil output could reach up to 10 million barrels per day by 2020, far higher than a prediction from the International Energy Agency which outlined several risks.

The latest forecast from Iraq’s deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, Hussein al-Shahristani, came as the IEA released its Iraq Energy Outlook report, forecasting Iraq’s oil production to increase to 6.1 mbpd by the end of the decade but warning of factors impeding output growth.

“Iraq is in a position to supply about half of global oil demand growth,” Shahristani told officials, diplomats and reporters at a joint news conference with IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“The conclusions of our studies, and those of independent consultants engaged in the ministry of oil, are that it is feasible and desirable for Iraq to raise its oil production to about nine to 10 million barrels per day by 2020. And Iraq can sustain that production for at least 20 years.”

Shahristani’s prediction was a reassertion of forecasts that observers have long said is optimistic, with the IEA itself stating that in its “high case”, production would reach 9.2 mbpd by 2020, and not rise to 10 mbpd until 2030.—AFP

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