Iraq Energy Sector: Reality & Expectations

Iraq Energy Sector: Reality & Expectations

by Ahmed Mousa Jiyad,

Iraq/ Development Consultancy and Research,

Phone: (+47) 5659 5699 Email:

I was the guest speaker kindly invited by Brussels Energy Club (BrEC) for this season’s event that took place in Brussels on 11 September 2014.

The event was limited to BrEC members and personal invitations; attended by senior and representatives from the European Commission, Energy Charter Secretariat; international oil companies; consulting firms; the European Geopolitical Forum; European Federation of Energy Traders; Central Europe Energy Partners; East West Institute; Petroleum Policy Intelligence; Interfax among others.

The following is the abstract of my presentation.

The PowerPoint presentation was structured in two parts: the first part addresses the development in petroleum (oil and gas) by highlighting the main planed/ expectations in comparison with what has been achieved so far in the most up-to-date information, data and assessment of the performance reality.

This first part analyses the development in the following sub-sectors by identifying the main successes and failures and explaining the circumstances and factors that had contributed to such outcomes.

  • Exploration efforts to augment proven reserves;
  • Field development and production capacities for both oil and gas (associated and free);
  • Refining and downstream, specifically refineries and associated gas utilization;
  • Export outlets, capacities and market configuration;

This part provides also a brief review pertaining to foreign direct investment–FDI opportunities and governing legal frameworks in each of the aforementioned sub-sectors based on the existing legal instruments and contractual modalities.

The second part of the presentation focuses on the political and the geopolitical current issues and considerations in addition to logistical, infrastructural and human resource challenges that have and will continue to have very serious implication on the prospects of the country in general and the petroleum sector in particular, especially in short and medium terms.

This part covers two sets of challenges: existential threats and sector specific structural and operational challenges. The existential threats cover the interaction of the following pressing issues.

  • The direct implications and consequences of IS/ISIS (known in Arabic as Da’ish) presence and their serious threats;
  • The Federal Government and KRG acrimonious relationship and KRG political attitude in three distinct short phases: post 9/10 June 2014; Post Sinjar Mountain (first week of August 2014) and finally the commencement of “foreign military involvement and airstrikes”;
  • The formation of the new government; oil portfolio; and the membership composition of the Energy (oil and gas) Committee in the Parliament.

The sector specific structural and operational challenges highlight the impacts of water injections requirements through the common seawater supply project-CSSP and other possible alternatives/ third river; tank farms and storage facilities at the Fao; and human resource limitations and identified skill, knowledge and capacity gaps.

The presentation ends by addressing the importance of international cooperation on energy matters on the bilateral levels and emphasizing, in this respect, the importance of timely execution of the EU- Iraq Energy Centre-EUIEC, which is currently in the final phase of the bidding process by the European Commission and scheduled to start on first December this year.

The discussion was rich, professional and very interesting during the presentation and afterwards; the event lasted for three hours and concluded with networking cocktail.

It was very fortunate that this BrEC event was convened a day after another important event took place, which I was cordially invited, through BrEC, and privileged to attend. “Gasunie” organized the “Shifting Powers: Energizing Europe Towards 2050” event on the 10 September at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Brussels. The topic was covered by the main speaker Dr. Patrick Dixon, Chairman of Global Change Ltd, followed by interactive debate by four senior panelists representing the European Commission, the EU Presidency, Government of the Netherlands and the CEO of Gasunie; and many interventions and questions from the audience.

The PowerPoint slides are posted on this IBN website and accessible by clicking on the following link:

Please click here to download Ahmed Mousa Jiyad's full presentation.

Date of submission: 22 September 2014

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