The announcement that Sonangol is to pull out of Iraq due to security problems is disappointing for many, not least for the company, which has been working at the Qayara and Najmah fields for the past four years.
But it must be remembered that while security is always a concern, the extent of the problem varies considerably from place to place, and the specific challenges that Sonangol encountered in Nineveh will not be common to all companies in the sector.
The departure of oil companies is not just a problem for the government, but also for Iraqi people on all sides of the conflict, as services and development cannot be funded without the revenue from the energy industry. As in Libya, disruption of the oil industry is in no-one’s interest.
The government, and the citizens, must be careful not to squander the opportunities that Iraq now has to develop itself.
(Flag image via Shutterstock)