Iraq 'set to be major player in oil market'.
"If we continue along the path we are on, Iraq will over the next two decades be the country that sets oil policy in the world in terms of price, supply and demand," Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Al Shahristani was quoted as saying.
He was speaking at a conference of Iraqi diplomats in Baghdad. In 2009, Iraq signed 11 contracts with foreign energy companies to exploit its vast oil reserves and dramatically ramp up crude output to as much as 12 million barrels a day (mbpd) by 2017, from around 2.7 mbpd currently. And in October, the country reported a major increase to its crude reserves.
"The world cannot survive without oil and demand will increase by 20 mbpd in the next 20 years," Shahristani, a former oil minister, said in his speech at Iraq's foreign ministry.
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