Frameworks Governing Upstream Petroleum in Iraq

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq upstream petroleum witnessed three unprecedented interrelated developments post-2003:

  • A grand opening to FDI;
  • offering the most prized petroleum fields in a rather short period of time; and,
  • formulation of the basic model for LTSCs.

I would argue that if things go as planned and contracted, Iraq would become major contributor to world petroleum market; a magnet for FDI through the involvement of the IOCs, specialised service companies and other related activities; and could introduce new but significant element in the legal and governing framework, which might have wide and lasting implications for relationship between host developing countries and the IOCs. However, more often than not reality seldom coincides with expectations.

As a matter of methodology this paper is confined to LTSCs for upstream petroleum development, and due to space limitation the corresponding matters in the Kurdish region of the country were excluded though few references to the region were made.

The analysis is based on the model contracts and, for verification purposes, consult “scanned” copies of the signed contracts. But due to pledge of non-disclosure, no formal referencing will be made to any signed copies of these contracts. Also the paper does not address the contracting matters of sub-contracts, FEED, EPC or any other types of contracts. Finally, space limitation prevents providing necessary data, statistics, annexes, maps and charts that are available on matters covered by this paper.

The full paper can be downloaded here.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: [email protected]).

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