Also complicating the development plans is the absence of a national hydrocarbon law, which has been repeatedly delayed. The law is designed to regulate Iraq's natural resources investment. It has been stalled in parliament since 2007 because of disagreement about the level of control that the central and regional governments would have over resources.
Iraq has the world's third largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Iran with at least 115 billion barrels of proven reserves. It also sits on at least 112 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
But due to decades of war, lack of investment and U.N. sanctions, the OPEC-member country produces only between 2.3 million and 2.4 million barrels a day. It exports just over 2 million barrels a day, under OPEC's production quota.
It plans to produce 4.5 million barrels a day by 2013 and up to 6 million barrels a day by 2015. It also aims to increase associated gas production to 5.1 billion cubic feet per day from the current 1.7 billion cubic feet over the same period. About 700 million cubic feet are being flared daily due to lack of sufficient infrastructure.