BAGHDAD Feb 27 Iraq is planning to start
offshore oil and gas exploration to boost the OPEC nation's
reserves, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in a statement on
Luaibi said he “gave guidance to the Oil Exploration
Company about the importance of exploring territorial waters to
assess the hydrocarbons reserves and to boost Iraq’s capacity".
Iraq last week announced an increase in its oil reserves to
153 billion barrels from a previous estimate of 143 billion
Iraq has boosted output rapidly in recent years with the help
of foreign oil companies to become OPEC's second-largest
producer behind Saudi Arabia.
It agreed at the end of November to take part in an OPEC
agreement to cut global supply to help to lift oil prices.
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by David Goodman)