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    Iraq needs $75 billion to develop oil industry - expert

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    Iraq will need $75 billion to develop its oil sector, three times more than was originally thought, a government expert said Thursday.

    BEIRUT, June 28 (RIA Novosti) - Iraq will need $75 billion to develop its oil sector, three times more than was originally thought, a government expert said Thursday.

    Iraq intends to boost oil production to 6 million barrels per day, but is currently producing only 2 million barrels per day due to ongoing terrorist attacks.

    Tamer Gazban, former oil minister and now energy adviser to the Iraqi government, said that if the number of attacks against oil infrastructure installations declines, production could rise to 2.8 million barrels per day by the end of 2007.

    The years of wars, economic blockades and violence that swept Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003 have brought the country's oil industry to a virtual standstill. Despite government efforts, it has not yet reached its prewar level of 2.2 million barrels per day.

    Iraq has the world's largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia - 112 billion barrels.

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