The exploitation of oilfields jointly held with Iran is again causing tension in Iraq’s Diyala province.
AKnews reports that Diyala’s energy committee chairman, Ismail al-Jabbouri, said:
“The Iranian side is extracting large amounts of oil from the common fields within Diyala province. The Oil Ministry was informed about this issue but it did not take any steps in this regard.
“We have no accurate statistics about the real quantities that Iran extracts per day from the joint oil fields. The Iranian side exploits the lack of readiness of the oil industry in Diyala and the weakness of investment opportunities in the energy field in the province.“
Oil expert Ahmed Salami is quoted as saying:
“Iran extracts from the joint oil fields with Diyala province at least 10,000 barrels of oil daily and this is equivalent to $5bn each year.
“Diyala province called the Oil Ministry several times to approve the establishment of a refinery in Khanaqin district, but these demands faced rejection by the Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristani and his position is like a stumbling block in front of the establishment of an oil refinery in Khanaqin.“
A quick calculation by Iraq Business News, however, suggests that valuing 10,000 bpd at $5 billion annually is an over-estimate of about 15 times.
MP from Iraqiya List Nahida Daini said:
“The federal government and the Ministry of Oil must keep the oil wealth of the province and allow the investment projects and allow specialized international companies in the energy industry to work in the province.“