The official was speaking at a news conference called to highlight the successes of US-led efforts to get Iraq back on its feet after a decade of international sanctions and the 2003 war to topple Saddam Hussein wrecked much of its infrastructure, including the vital oil sector.
The official, who declined to be identified, said there were 135 projects to boost Iraq's oil production, of which 22 had been completed and 102 were still be completed. Eleven would be awarded in the next two weeks.
The official said the target was to achieve 3m barrels per day (bpd), which would exceed pre-war levels.
"Production now is about 2.3m bpd; 1.7m bpd is being exported," the official said.
The projects were aimed at improving storage capacity and repairing infrastructure ruined by years of neglect, he said.
"One of the things not done in the past, for example, was the poor maintenance of oil wells. The first 60 wells we will renovate. The revenue generated (from excess bpd) will pay for the renovation of another 160 wells," he said.
The chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, Brigadier General William H McCoy told the news briefing that among one of the biggest reconstruction achievements were efforts to restore Iraq's electrical power supply to nearly pre-war levels.
Meanwhile, eight UN managers have been suspended with pay as part of an investigation into the world body's procurement services following scandals in the oil-for-food programme in Iraq, UN officials said yesterday.
The investigation by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services is the result of a probe into contracts in the UN peacekeeping department, which is fielding some 85,000 troops, police and civilians around the world.
Four of the suspended managers are in UN Procurement Services and four were recalled from peacekeeping missions, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. (Source) Gulf Daily News