Maliki Calls for Foreign Investors

Iraq needs foreign investors in the oil sector to help break a bottleneck at its southern ports, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

“We have no restrictions on their [foreign investors] entry. We want them,” Maliki told The Wall Street Journal. “We need speed. We need money.”

Maliki last year gave the nod to a series of oil deals aimed at boosting the country’s oil production to more than 12 million barrels of crude oil per day in less than a decade. Exports and production, however, are limited in part by a lack of infrastructure at southern ports and a slow-moving political system.

Oil production has lingered at around 2.5 million barrels per day from Iraqi fields for years. Maliki said four new oil-exporting terminals off the coast of Basra, however, could push Iraq’s export capacity past the 3 million barrel mark by September, a first since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.

Maliki’s one-time rival, Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, recently issued a religious edict prohibiting work with foreign companies doing business in Iraq. The prime minister brushed the ruling off as “mere opinion.”

(Sources: Wall Street Journal, UPI)

Iraq needs foreign investors in the oil sector to help break a bottleneck at southern ports, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

“We have no restrictions on their entry. We want them,” Maliki told The Wall Street Journal of foreign investors. “We need speed. We need money.”

Maliki last year gave the nod to a series of oil deals aimed at boosting the country’s oil production to more than 12 million barrels of crude oil per day in less than a decade. Exports and production, however, are limited in part by a lack of infrastructure at southern ports and a slow-moving political system.

Oil production has lingered at around 2.5 million barrels per day from Iraqi fields for years. Maliki said four new oil-exporting terminals off the coast of Basra, however, could push Iraq’s export capacity past the 3 million barrel mark by September, a first since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.

Maliki’s one-time rival, Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, recently issued a religious edict prohibiting work with foreign companies doing business in Iraq. The prime minister brushed the ruling off as “mere opinion.”

One Response to Maliki Calls for Foreign Investors

  1. Re da Caste February 10, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    In order to invest in Iraq, one needs to trust the political and the judicial system. Now for instance the prime minister Maliki has been saying for quite a while the oil export from Kurdistan will start the very first days of February. Today is the 10:th and nothing happens. Besides, the prime minister Maliki and the deputy Shahristani have total different views on how to resolve the problem with the existing oil companies and their contracts in Kurdistan. Maliki says one thing and Shahristani says it is inaccurate! Who is in charge in Iraq ??!! Stability and coherence must be in place first before one starts thinking on investments in Iraq.