Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir al-Ghadhban on Wednesday said that the ministry is planning to conduct oil and gas explorations in the desert in western Iraq within the next four years, Trend reported citing Xinhua.
"The plans of the ministry in the next four years are aimed at conducting extensive explorations in the western desert because of its promising and huge reserves of oil and gas," a statement by the Oil Ministry quoted al-Ghadhban as saying during a conference of the Iraqi Geologists Syndicate in Baghdad.
"The Iraqi oil industry is witnessing its golden age because of the expansion of explorations and developments of the oil and gas fields in the country," al-Ghadhban said.
"Iraq has witnessed in recent years many (energy) explorations, which proved the presence of oil and gas in large quantities, which led to an increase in oil reserves," he said.
He added that Iraq is seeking to increase its gas reserves, particularly the country is witnessing expansion in building capacity in the petrochemical industries and the generation of electricity that rely on gas, the statement said.
Iraq's economy relies heavily on crude oil exports, which account for more than 90 percent of the country's revenues.
In 2017, Iraq announced that its proven oil reserves increased to 153 billion barrels from previously estimated 143.1 billion barrels.