Comment & Analysis: Questioning the numbers

Former Iraqi oilman Ahmed Mousa Jiyad wonders where the data came from to support the massive boost in two fields' reserves.
Comment & Analysis: Questioning the numbers
Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani (center) with officials from the ministry and Exxon Mobil after the signing of the West Qurna Phase 1 contract Jan. 25 (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

When Oil Minister Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani declared an increase of Iraq’s proven oil reserves to 143 billion barrels, he suggested that this jump was the product of modern IOC techniques to update reserve data, mostly in two oil fields: West Qurna and Zubair. This announcement raises many eyebrows, triggers questions and demands clarification.Most technical studies do suggest Iraq could have proven reserves higher than the 115 billion barrels it had claimed since 2001. However, prominent...

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