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News Summary: Iraq targets 4.5M barrels a day

The Associated Press

BIG VISION: Iraq expects to ramp up oil production to 4.5 million barrels per day by the end of next year from around 3.5 million barrels now, and aims to produce 9 million barrels a day by 2020.

RECENT GAINS: Iraq has struggled to develop its oil industry after years of war, international sanctions and neglect. Since 2008, it awarded more than a dozen deals to international energy companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Total. Production and exports have since sharply increased.

THREATS REMAIN: It is unclear if the government will be able to implement its plans because of political infighting and instability. Recent months have seen increasing polarization between the Shiite-led government and Sunni Arabs and the worst wave of violence in years.