Iraq has unveiled an ambitious plan to revive its battered oil and gas industry that involves raising oil production by 45 per cent to 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) within six years.

The country currently produces about 2.4 million b/d.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry plans to split the programme into three phases covering eight fields: Luhais, Majnoon, Maysan, Nahr bin Umar, Nasiriyah, Ratawi, West Qurna and Zubair.

The plans were revealed to MEED by Jabber al-Luaibi, an adviser to Iraq’s Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, and presented at MEED’s Oil & Gas EPC Projects 2009 conference in Abu Dhabi on 20 October.

Al-Luaibi declined to say when the first phase might start, as the ministry’s plan relies on the Iraqi parliament passing legislation to allow international oil companies to work freely in the country.

The first, two-year phase of the plan involves drilling between 120 and 150 wells over the eight fields in a bid to boost the country’s production by 400,000 b/d.

A second phase, also lasting two years, aims to sustain Iraq’s production at 2.8 million b/d. The ministry will ask inter-national contractors to build facilities capable of maintaining the output.

The final two-year phase covers the development of new and existing fields to take Iraq’s oil production to 3.5 million b/d.

Al-Luaibi declined to say which fields will be developed under the third phase or how much oil production capacity the Iraqi government is aiming for.