IEA optimistic about future of Iraq oil industry

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The International Energy Agency's chief economist is optimistic about the future of Iraq's oil industry — a key factor in global supplies.

Fatih Birol says the agency's projections put Iraq's average annual revenues from energy exports at $200 billion by 2035, up from $100 billion. At that point, Iraq's economy would be as large as that of Saudi Arabia.

Birol told The Associated Press that disputes between Iraq's central and regional governments on oil contracts pose a risk to the economy. He says the country also needs to ensure plentiful water supplies for oil extraction and to build larger export facilities.

The IEA says Iraq's oil production could more than double to 6.1 million barrels a day by 2020.

The Paris-based IEA's report on Iraq's energy sector is being released Tuesday.