Iraq will cut its 'overambitious' oil targets, the oil minister, Abdul-Kareem Luaibi [Elaibi] said on Tuesday.
AKnews reports that the country had planned to up output to 12 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2017, but now aims for 8 million bpd within 13 or 14 years.
Independent experts had challenged the ability of Iraq’s infrastructure - including pipe lines, storage and its ports – to cope with such an increase.
The move will mean the government will have to renegotiate deals made with international companies.
Iraq’s output for May was 2.225 million bpd.
"We are studying several scenarios for more economic production rates, we can reduce the production and increase the period to reach the plateau targets," the minister told Reuters.
"In general, the oil companies will not be hurt ... We can increase the period to reach the plateau targets to 13-14 years.”
Iraq has had three rounds of contract awarding since 2003. The 2009 contracts were handed out on the understanding that the 12 million bpd target would be met. Companies, which are paid per barrel they produce, may not be happy about the government’s readjustment.
Twelve more oil fields are due to be offered in a fourth round of auctions due to be held in January 2012.
(Sources: AKnews, Reuters)