By Benoit Faucon
Published November 09, 2010
Dow Jones Newswires
LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The International Energy Agency said Tuesday that Iraq’s oil output will catch up with that of regional rival Iran by around 2015 but won’t hit the country’s ambitious targets, sending a mixed message on Iraq’s ambitious plans despite a reassessment of reserves.
In its annual outlook report, the IEA–which represents some of the world’s largest energy consumers–said Iraq’s crude output will be “catching up with Iran by around 2015.”
But it also forecasts oil output in Iraq at 7 million barrels a day by 2035, compared with about 2 million barrels a day at present. That assessment is considerably lower than the country’s plan to grow production to 10 million-12 million barrels a day by 2017.
The IEA’s forecast comes amid skepticism over the Middle East nation’s plans to boost its output.
The International Monetary Fund in October said it had lowered Iraq’s oil production forecast, after a disappointing 2010. The IMF report lowered Iraq’s projected 2012 oil production to 2.6 million barrels a day, from 3.1 million barrels a day in February.
The IMF reassessment came despite Iraq raising its proven oil reserves by around a quarter to 143.1 billion barrels in early October.
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