Iraqi Ministers Raise Oil Reserve Estimate

The Iraqi government announced Monday that its proven oil reserves are nearly 25 percent larger than previously estimated. Iraq says it has 143 billions barrels of oil in the ground — the third largest oil reserves in the world.

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's business news starts with growing oil reserves in Iraq.

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INSKEEP: The Iraqi government announced today that its proven oil reserves are 25 percent larger than previously estimated. Iraq says it has 143 billion barrels of oil in the ground - the third largest oil reserves in the world.

The new figure comes as international oil companies have been surveying Iraqi wells. Exploration there came to an almost complete halt during Saddam Hussein's regime, in the years of fighting after the American invasion in 2003. Now exploration can begin to resume.

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