Although it may take years and billions of dollars in reconstruction, Iraq has the capacity to triple its oil production to 6 million barrels a day, which would make it the world’s third largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Iraq may have over 200 billion barrels in yet to be explored regions, with over 110 billion barrels in proven reserves.
Iraq has 73 oil fields, but under the old regime, only 15 were developed, drilling about 2,000 wells. Compare that to Texas where 1 million wells have been drilled in the last 50 years.
Prior to the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq produced 3.5 million barrels a day. The old regime did not invest in construction and maintenance, reducing the yield of the fields to 2 million barrels a day in 2002.
Before the war, Iraq had hoped to dramatically increase its production to more than 6 million barrels a day, which would make Iraq the world’s third-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia and Russia.