Iraq is embarking on an unprecedented expansion of its oil industry with the aim of becoming one of the world's top three oil producers, but there are fears that the global oil companies that will make this happen will become targets for terror, reports energydaily.com
For example in Nigeria, international oil giants such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron - among the companies setting up in Iraq - have been battered by rebel tribesmen demanding a more equitable share of the oil revenues over the last five years.
The Iraqi Government is planning to enhance oil production from the current 2.4 million barrels per day to 10 million-12 million over the next six years to pay for massive national reconstruction.
In addition to the terror threats, Iraq may also face resistance from old rival neighbour Iran as the latter could intensify its clandestine operations to destabilise Iraq or make an outright land grab following the withdrawal, according to observers in the Middle East.
Iraq's known oil reserves total 115 billion barrels and most of the reserves are in the Shiite-dominated south and along the border.