Iraq opens oil industry to foreign investment
Iraq has begun the process of opening up its oil industry to foreign investment in an effort to boost output of the country\'s key income earner.
Iraq is seeking external help to boost output from six key oil fields and has attracted interest from leading US, Asian and European producers.
Oil production is currently at its highest since the 2003 invasion.
Political wrangling has so far prevented agreement over who should agree deals and how income is shared.
Iraq has reserves of about 115 billion barrels, the world\'s third largest, and the development of its oil facilities is essential to help to fund the country\'s long-term reconstruction.
Production currently totals $2.5 million barrels a day and Iraq hopes to increase output to 2.9 million barrels by the end of next year.
Iraq confirmed yesterday that it was seeking foreign investment to develop six of its most important oil fields.