Iraq is set to announce a “big increase” in its oil reserves on Monday, which currently stand at 115 billion barrels, a spokesman for the oil ministry said.
Iraq’s crude reserves are the world’s third largest but its production rate is low thanks to years of sanctions, under-investment and war.
Baghdad has signed a series of deals with foreign giants to ramp up output capacity to about 12 million barrels per day from its current level of about 2.5 million bpd.
“The oil minister will announce on Monday a new higher figure for Iraq’s crude reserves and it will include a big increase compared to the old figure of around 115 billion barrels,” Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters.
Jihad added that Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani would hold a news conference on Monday to unveil the revised figure.
“The big increase … is going to be an incentive and encouragement to more oil companies to come and work in Iraq,” he said.
The Iraqi government has said in the past it believes actual reserves could be up to three times as high as the current figure.
“The new figure will be very important to Iraq,” Jihad quoted Shahristani as saying.