Jun 30 2012
By Zeena Sami
Iraq sits on 11 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves at a time there are more than 400 newly discovered locations with potential of holding massive hydrocarbon riches, according to Deputy Prime Minister Husain Shahristani.
Shahristani is currently visiting Indonesia and his latest remarks were made in a statement sent to the newspaper by his Baghdad office.
Translating 11 percent into barrels it means that Iraq’s proven oil reserves exceed 115 billion barrels.
While Iraq’s volume of reserves is widely known, the statement’s reference to the discovery of 400 new locations with potential of containing huge reserves is bound to even boost Iraq’s standing in international energy markets.
The statement by Shahristani’s Baghdad office said the deputy premier was referring to the latest satellite and geological surveys of Iraq and the results scientists have reached following their analysis of their pictures.
“There are more than 400 probable hydrocarbon sites in Iraq which have not been developed yet. According to satellite surveys it is likely that they hold massive volumes of oil and gas,” the statement quoted Shahristani as telling his Indonesian hosts.
Shahristani, according to the statement, assured Indonesian officials of Iraq’s capability of meeting their needs for oil and gas.
The statement reported Shahristani as telling Indonesian officials that the countries had bright future for bilateral trade and that Baghdad can help Jakarta to sustain and substantially increase its agricultural output.
Besides its massive oil riches, Iraq holds the world’s second largest reserves of phosphate mostly in its western desert. The desert’s phosphate rock reserves of 5.7 billion tons – the world’s second largest after Morocco – were ascertained by a team of U.S. geologists in 2011.
“Iraq plans to become a world leader in manufacturing fertilizers as its land is extremely rich with phosphate and gas,” Shahristani said.
He said Iraq was looking ahead to become Indonesia’s main supplier of energy and fertilizers and at the same time hoping that Indonesia will become Iraq’s main source of agricultural products.
Iraq’s earnings from oil exports are mushrooming due to firmer and higher output.This year’s oil royalties are estimated to hit $120 billion, the highest ever in Iraq’s history.
Iraq currently exports an average of 2.9 million barrels a day.
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