By Tom Bergin
LONDON, March 12 The leader of Iraq's autonomous
Kurdish region said the area has the capacity to produce one
million barrels per day of crude in three years and criticised
Baghdad's policies on oil as "failed".
"Today, the region is able to export 100,000 barrels per day
and towards the end of the year we will be able to export
200,000 bpd," Masoud Barzani, president of Iraq's autonomous
Kurdistan region, told a conference in London on Thursday.
"By the end of next year it will be 450,000 bpd and after
three years we will be able to produce 1 million bpd".
Iraq currently produces some 2.4 million barrels per day,
Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said last week.
However, reaching this target hinges on an agreement on
revenue sharing with the central government, he said.
The region currently produces only a few thousand bpd for
local consumption as it is unable to sell crude into the Iraqi
pipeline system for export.
Barzani declined to say when he expected an agreement with
Baghdad that would facilitate exports, nor did he offer any
specifics as to how the targets would be achieved.
Kurdish leaders have previously outlined an aspiration to
produce 1 million bpd but have not before offered a timetable
for achieving it, Alex Munton, anlayst at consultants Wood
The President criticised Baghdad's oil ministry for failing
to lift Iraq's oil output despite investing billions of dollars.
"The policy of the ministry of oil and gas in Baghdad is a
failed policy," he said.
The Kurdish region has large oil reserves but only two
fields, Tawke, part-owned by Norway's DNO International (DNO.OL)
and Addax Petroleum's AXC.L Taq-Taq, are currently producing,
Tawke and Taq-Taq on their own would not enable the region
to reach the targets outlined.
"It's difficult to see how those numbers have been arrived
at," Munton said.
(Additional reporting by Luke Baker; Editing by Keiron