Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussian Al Shahristani said that he expects Iraq to be top global oil producer in six to seven years.

He added that Iraq suffered a lot after the war and needs to reconstruct its economy, through generating petrodollars to rebuild it, and that OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) should take that in mind.

“We can’t find a reason to prevent Iraqi production becoming higher than any other OPEC state or even states outside OPEC. We expect that to happen in the next six to seven years with coordination and agreement with other OPEC producers” he said.

Baghdad already took some steps toward this target by signing a series of oilfield development deals with global oil firms. Iraq is looking set to lift capacity to 12 million barrels per day in the next six or seven years, strengthening its hand for future negotiations on output quotas with OPEC.

Iraq is expected to present to OPEC partners new ideas in 2011 to fit with Baghdad’s plans to boost production.

On the other hand, OPEC is likely to try to get Iraq to curb output rather than pump all its extra capacity onto the market, according to analysts.

“We are not interested to flood the market with oil. Our future policy is to get higher revenues for Iraq rather than higher production and flooding the market” Shahristani responded.