Baghdad - Iraq on Wednesday unveiled an ambitious energy strategy that aims to see it raise $6 trillion from oil and gas sales by 2030 and massively increase local power generation, a major domestic complaint.
The plan, dubbed the Integrated National Energy Strategy, would see Iraq invest some $620bn in the sector over nearly two decades, in a bid to substantially increase living standards and employment levels in a country badly hit by decades of conflict and sanctions.
"The strategic goals of the plan are to meet local energy needs, maximise government revenues, encourage economic diversification and improve the standard of living and create jobs," said Thamir Ghadhban, a former oil minister and the head of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's advisory committee.
In all, Iraq aims to increase oil production to 4.5 million barrels per day by 2014, and about double that by 2020 in its "medium" scenario, with all domestic energy requirements met by 2022.
The country projects it will raise about $6trn in revenues by 2030, about 85% of which will come from oil exports.
It also aims to diversify its oil-dependent economy and add 10 million new jobs, with planners arguing that by 2020, non-energy sectors of the economy will grow faster than oil and gas.
Iraq has sought in recent years to dramatically increase its oil production in order to fund reconstruction of its battered economy and dilapidated infrastructure.
But while output has increased, unemployment remains high and Iraqis frequently complain about a lack of improvement in daily living standards.
Tempers run particularly high during the country's boiling summer, when most residents receive only a few hours of government-supplied power per day.
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