Iraq, as a major oil and gas producer, plays predominant role in Middle East. In this regards, many events have been held that influences not only oil and gas industry, but also global oil and
gas market. The Iraq’s financial resources have been drained by ISIS, also caused Iraq to face with shortage in National Annual Budget, resulted in preventing Iraq’s oil and gas field development. Kurdish Independence referendum imposed challenges based on two point of views: it influenced
the Iraq’s political integrity through stopping the crude export from Kirkuk, so Iraq’s export rate decreased, also Iraq’s potentials and opportunities regarding foreign investment attraction made it
easier to develop country’s infrastructures, some of them are strategic position of Iraq in Middle
East, low recovery cost of its oilfields, significant extension of oil assets, presence of significant
numbers of undeveloped fields, raising trend of oil prices and lower risk of exploration. Iraq seeks to gain these opportunities, so encourages foreign investors by modifying its fiscal terms and oil
It is expected that Iraq’s oil production reaches to projected plateau of 7 million barrels per day 2020 and increase refining capacity by 1.5 million barrels until 2021.
An Insight to Iraq’s Oil and Gas Upstream Industry
Iraq along with being the second crude oil producer, deemed as the fifth country, owning the largest oil reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran. History of drilling in Iraq dates back to 1902, the first well has been drilled in Chia Surkh. Although the drilling was successfully reached to oil and gas, due to not being economic, the well was abandoned and the other measures have been taken elsewhere. In 1927, huge fields were discovered in Mosul province, two years later the Iraqi Petroleum Company (IPC), comprising Anglo- Iranian, Shell, Mobil, moreover Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) initiated oil production. Majority of Iraq’s huge fields have been developed or under development, however most of them are not fully exploited.
Iraq’s oil and gas production status
*Business Monitor International- 2018
Iraq’s Upstream Landmarks (Hannam & Partners, 2015)
The Ministry of Oil as a top Iraqi institution manages the oil and gas assets, also Ministry of Natural Resources plays the same role in Kurdistan region. They both are aiming at technical and commercial aspects of policy making, regulation, exploration, production, moreover marketing of oil and gas resources.
Major Iraqi operating companies are listed below:
• South Oil Company
• North Oil Company
• Missan Oil Company
• Midland Oil Company
The rest of major companies are Exploration and Drilling, R&D, Transport, Pipeline Companies, Refinery Companies, Storage and Export Terminals, etc.
Divided into two types, Iraq’s fields are Southern and Central, Northern oilfields. “At least 70% of the Iraq’s total reserves (81.6 billion barrels) are localized in the Southern oilfields (Rumaila, West Quarna, Zubair, Majnoon, & Nahr Umr). Recovery cost in these fields is quitelow because of their simple geology” (Basra, Maysan, and Dhi Qar). Large Northern fields are located near the Kirkuk and small fields in other parts of the country, except Anbar province, in the west.