Iraq Lifts Oil Reserves Estimate to 143 Billion Barrels,

Iraq raised its estimate of national crude oil reserves to 143.1 billion barrels, Oil Minister Hussain Al-Shahristani said today, overtaking Iran as home to the world’s fourth-largest petroleum deposits.



The 24 percent increase in estimated reserves lifts Iraq past neighboring Iran, which has 137.6 billion barrels, while leaving it behind Saudi Arabia, Canada and Venezuela. Iraq last estimated its oil reserves at 115 billion barrels, in 2001.

“This is great news for the Iraqi people, and we will relay it to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries,” Shahristani said at a news conference at the oil ministry in Baghdad. “The new figure for the reserves is not final. Iraq will carry out studies and reveal new numbers every year. We expect more increases.”

Iraq’s oil reserves previously ranked fifth in size, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy, which compiles official government figures. Canada’s reserves include vast deposits of oil sands, while Venezuela raised its estimates by around 70 percent in 2008, according to BP.

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