Iraq's Cabinet says, it has approved the establishment of a new state-owned oil company to oversee developments of fields in central Iraq.
A statement issued late on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting says, the government has earmarked $85,000 for the initial startup costs of the Midland Oil Co. It did not say, when it would start operating. The new company is expected to help ease the burden from the North, South and Maysan oil companies that are currently overseeing the 10 major oil projects awarded to western oil companies last year.
Iraq plans, based on developers' promises, to raise output to more than 12 million barrels a day within six to seven years from the current 2.4 million barrels a day.
Oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of Iraq's income.