A report by United Nations inspectors has shown that Iraqi oil production capacity continues to decline, at a rate of 4-8%/year, with a significant number of wells shut in recently because of a lack of water removal facilities.
In a letter to the president of the U.N. Security Council, U.N. Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan said the experts estimated that about 20% of Iraq's wells shut in because of water production are irreparably damaged.
The remainder of the shut-in wells could be returned to production with imported spare parts, to recover production capacity of about 100,000 b/d. Spare parts could enable Iraq to boost oil production capacity over 6 months.