Iraq says jump in oil reserves is only the start

The Oil Ministry revised its proven oil reserves upward by nearly 25 percent, a number that will increase as it lures investors, despite political challenges.
Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani announces an increase in estimates of the country's oil reserves. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Iraq says that its oil reserves are 25 percent larger than previously estimated – an announcement that could simultaneously pacify nervous oil investors amidst a political crisis and give Baghdad leverage with OPEC colleagues in the next round of quota negotiations.

On Monday, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani called a press conference at the ministry’s headquarters and said proven oil reserves are now 143 billion barrels, up from the long-held estimate of 115 billion barrels. On paper, Iraq has surpassed Iran to become the second-largest oil country in the world, behind Saudi Arabia.

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