The Iraqi Oil Ministry has said that the country's export capacity will reach 7 million barrels per day by 2015, while the parliamentary Energy Committee believes that the size of Iraq's oil exporting capacity is still below the upper limit set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Abdul Mahdi al-Amidi, a senior official in the Iraqi Oil Ministry, said that his country will be able to export more than 7 million barrels a day in 2015, after construction is completed on offshore rigs at the end of this year. Amidi said that the oil ministry would be able to deal with these quantities for transfer and export.
Amidi said that the production and export of crude oil is subject to the ministry's plans and programs, which, in turn, are subject to a number of variables. He added, "The ministry is working to develop the necessary infrastructure to help them transport, store and export crude oil."
There is much uncertainty surrounding Iraq's export potential, while local experts believe that the country will not be able to cope with the large increase in oil production that is expected over the next two years.
Many of Iraq's plans to build offshore rigs in the Persian Gulf — along with projects aimed at laying new pipelines to export outlets in Turkey and Jordan — have been at a standstill for years as a result of bureaucracy.
Amidi said that the doubts concerning Iraq's ability to export projected production quantities are "inaccurate." He added, "The indicators announced by international organizations draw their information from the Ministry of Oil and the official Iraqi authorities."