Iraq Oil: Reserves, Production, and Potential Revenues

Publication Date: April 2006

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Energy


Coverage: Iraq


Iraq's potential oil wealth remains largely unrealized. Substantial proven reserves exist, and there are likely more resources awaiting discovery. But oil production has been slow to fully recover during the post-Saddam period, and many obstacles stand in the way of achieving a stable export flow. Moreover, refineries are in need of rehabilitation, necessitating imports of gasoline and cooking fuel within Iraq. Despite these difficulties, the existence of vast resources suggests easy exploitation and lucrative export earnings that could help fund Iraq's redevelopment. But the sheer resource size masks the difficulty, described in this paper, of generating export revenues that could fund reconstruction and development and offset several appropriations approved by Congress. This report will be updated as events warrant.