by David Rachovich
According to the International Energy Agency's recent World Energy Outlook 2010 - Executive Summary, "Iraq accounts for a large share of the increase in OPEC output, commensurate with its large resource base, its crude oil output catching up with Iran's by around 2015 and its total output reaching 7 [million barrels per day] mb/d by 2035." Since the creation of OPEC in 1960, Iraq's crude oil production has only overtaken that of Iran during the years 1979-80 and 1987-88, according to OPEC's data, or during the years 1979-80 and 1988-89, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. (See David Rachovich, Iraq's Oil Sector: Present, Past and Future, p.4 and fn 12). Iraq now (Sept. 2010 data) produces about 2.4 mb/d, compared with Iran's c. 4 mb/d (crude including lease condensate).
The IEA's 25-year forecast for Iraq (7 mb/d), stands in stark contrast to Baghdad's ambitious plans to boost production to 12 mb/d in seven years. To this end, Baghdad has signed 12 Technical Service Contracts (TSCs) with most of the world's top oil companies.