IEA returns from visit to Baghdad

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PARIS, March 2 (UPI) — Delegates from the International Energy Agency said they received strong support from the Iraqi government for a study examining its energy sector.

IEA delegates returned to Paris following a two-day visit with Iraqi officials in Baghdad. The agency had announced plans took take a comprehensive look at Iraq as part of its World Energy Outlook for 2012 and received strong backing for the report from Iraqi officials.

“The strong support received and working relationships established will be instrumental towards the IEA’s work on an in-depth outlook for the Iraq’s energy sector,” the agency said in a statement.

The IEA in December estimated crude oil production from Iraq was on pace to reach an average of 4.36 million bpd by 2016. The report, however, warned political instability could dampen oil expectations in Iraq now that U.S. military forces have formally ended their mission there.

In May, Iraq is expected to put around a dozen oil and natural gas blocks up for auction in its fourth licensing round. Iraq has yet to pass comprehensive legislation that would regulate the energy sector, however, leaving many investors wary.

The Iraq study is to be published in October. It will be included in the full energy outlook set for a November release.

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Spencer Cameron

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