Iraq raised its level of proven oil reserves by 24% in the first revision since Saddam Hussein was toppled from power.

The country has 143.1 billion barrels of known and extractible oil, compared with 115 billion barrels at the end of Saddam Hussein's reign, BBC News reported

That means Iraq has more proven reserves than neighbor Iran.

In the final years of Hussein's reign, UN sanctions and political isolation prevented oil exploration. Since the U.S. invasion in 2003, Iraq has issued two rounds of international oil licenses and ramped up exploration.

Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, said the country will submit the findings to OPEC for international recognition.



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