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Iraq Aims to Become World Leader in Oil Production

Comstock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Iraq remains in the throes of insurgent violence but that hasn't hampered its ambitions to become an oil-producing superpower.

Thamir Ghadhban, chairman of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's advisory commission, announced on Wednesday that a seven-year plan will begin with increasing oil production from the current 3.5 million barrels daily to 4.5 million barrels in 18 months, a boost of 30 percent.

The Iraqi government's ultimate goal is to actually double that output by 2020 by producing nine million barrels a day.

If that should happen, Iraq could presumably surpass oil-producing leaders such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States.

The cost of the project is in the hundreds of billions of dollars but since oil accounts for 95 percent of Iraq's revenue, its leaders feel the goal is attainable by the target date of 2020.

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