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BAGHDAD, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Iraq's expansion of its oil
industry will let the government nearly double spending over the
next three years, the deputy prime minister for energy said on
The Iraqi parliament approved a budget of $100 billion for
2012 in February, based on an average oil price of $85 per
barrel and 2.6 million bpd in exports.
Since OPEC ministers last met in June, Brent crude oil
prices have surged about 20 percent and have hovered
around $112-$117 a barrel since mid-August, despite fragile
economic growth in many consuming countries.
"The current Iraq oil policy has enabled the government to
double its budget in just three years and it will be increased
by another 80 percent between 2012 and 2015," Hussain
Iraq, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC), has the world's fourth-largest oil
reserves and has focused on building up its oil industry, which
funds about 95 percent of its budget, after years of crippling
wars and sanctions.
Shahristani said earlier on Wednesday the country aimed to
produce 5-6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) by 2015, with a
view to reaching a target of 9-10 million bpd by 2020. Current
production was 3.4 million bpd, he added.
Shahristani also said he expected spending in the more
distant future to rise to more than $500 billion by 2020.
In September Iraq sent a preliminary budget of $118 billion
for 2013 to the cabinet for approval, based on a world oil price
of $90 a barrel and oil exports at 2.9 million
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Aseel Kami; Editing by
Andrew Heavens and Anthony Barker)