The U.S. Secretary of Energy says it may take about six months to restore Iraq's oil output to pre-war levels of 2.5 million barrels a day.
Samuel Bodman made the comments in Baghdad Tuesday, where he called Iraqi estimates that they could boost production to three million barrels a day "optimistic."
Bodman also said Iraq is working on a new "hydrocarbons law" intended to set a legal framework to attract and regulate badly needed investment by foreign oil companies.
He said Iraqi officials hope to finish the law by the end of this year.
Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the Middle East, but oil production suffers from years of sanctions, war, and insurgent attacks on key infrastructure.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.