Iraq to increase Oil Output to 4.5 Mln Bpd by 2014

Iraq aims to raise crude output to 4.5 million barrels per day in 2014, boosted by a raft of signed oilfield development deals, the government's five-year plan showed on Wednesday.

The ambitious plan, which was approved by the cabinet and posted on the Ministry of Planning's website, also sees oil exports at 3.1 million bpd in 2014, up from 2.15 million bpd this year.

The five-year plan assumes an oil price of $63 a barrel in 2011, and $68 a barrel in 2012-2014.

Iraq struck a series of deals with global oil companies that could boost its output capacity to 12 million bpd from 2.5 million now in seven years, allowing it to generate cash to rebuild and create thousands of jobs after years of war and economic decline.

Only now emerging from the violence following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq has had grand development goals in the past couple of years but few targets set out in previous plans have been achieved.

The new 2010-2014 plan, if implemented, aims at diversifying the oil producing country's economy through public-private partnerships in industry, and attracting more investments.

"The overall allocation for the five-year plan is $186 billion," Deputy Planning Minister Sami Matti told Reuters.

It covers 2,700 projects in different sectors with the government funding more than 50 percent and the rest paid by foreign and local private investors, Matti said.

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