Sunday, February 20, 2011

UPDATE 1-Iraqi lawmakers pass 2011 budget of $82.6 bln

* Iraq budget projects $13.4 billion deficit
* OPEC producer looks to oil revenue to repair war damage
(Adds details, background)
BAGHDAD, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament gave final
approval on Sunday to an $82.6 billion budget for 2011 based on
an average oil price of $76.50 per barrel and 2.2 million
barrels per day in crude exports.
The deficit was projected at $13.4 billion. About 95 percent
of Iraq's government budget comes from oil revenue.
The budget allocated $25.7 billion for investments and $2.05
billion to pay oil firms' investment costs.
Passage of the budget was held up for months by political
Budget shortfalls challenge Iraq's ability to rebuild after
years of conflict following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. But
officials have said the deficit could be wiped out if world oil
prices stay high.
Violence has subsided in the last three years and the
government has announced major projects to refurbish oilfields
and infrastructure and to construct housing.
The OPEC producer has signed deals with global oil firms
that could boost its output capacity to 8-12 million bpd,
rivalling top producer Saudi Arabia, in about six time. Current
production is 2.7 million bpd.
($1=1170 Iraqi dinar)

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