Shaping Iraq’s Role in the Global Energy Scene
There can be no doubting Iraq’s oil credentials. It is Opec’s number two oil producer, second only to Saudi Arabia, and holds the world’s fifth-largest proved oil reserves. Production is on the rise, having nearly doubled over the past decade, averaging around 4.5 million barrels per day in 2018. Almost 90 per cent of the country’s output comes from giant oilfields in the southern part of the country. The remainder is largely pumped from oilfields in the northeast, in the semiautonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), which is under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. This is good news for a country that is heavily dependent on revenues from its oil exports, which, according to the IMF, accounted for almost 90 per cent of total government revenues in 2017. The rise in oil prices, despite recent wobbles in the face of US-China trade tensions, has certainly been a boost to the country’s coffers and provides further impetus for investment in development and infrastructure. This upwards trajectory is likely to continue as the country seeks to fill the supply gap left by new US sanctions on Iran. Iraq is keen to lift production capacity to 5 million bpd this year, and to 8.5 million bpd in the coming years as it upgrades its infrastructure. The southern oilfields are key to this growth, expected to pump some 6.5 million bpd in the coming years, with the country keen to partner with international oil companies (IOCs) to secure the necessary investment to unlock its vast resource potential.
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Iraqi Economists Network
Media Partner of Iraq Petroleum Conference