Thanks largely to increased security, Iraq is now producing more oil than it was before the war began in 2003, according to the International Energy Agency. The output is up to 2.3 million barrels per day from 1.9 million barrels daily at the beginning of the year. Protecting Iraq's main northern pipeline to Turkey from sabotage attacks accounted for most of the jump, according to the IEA.
Improved security is linked to America's troop surge as well as Sunni militants focusing their energies against former al-Qaeda allies. While attacks have been reduced, the threat remains very real, officials warn. The IEA is predicting that the world's demand for oil will increase by 1.2 barrels per day over the next year, due largely to the needs of developing countries.