Important Oil Projects -- Dubious, Non-Transparent Contracts

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

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

Developing Border Oilields and Utilizing Associated Natural Gas: Important Projects, Dubious and Non-Transparent Contracts

Information from and about the Ministry of Oil has been published and circulated extensively, in the last few days,  concerning two important subjects or projects, each of which could have immense direct and effective impacts on the Iraqi economy and on the national interest.

The first concerns the development of border fields with Iran and Kuwait, and the second is related to utilizing associated natural gas from Nassiriyah and Gharraf oilfields in Thi Qar province.

After thorough reviewing all information from the mentioned sources and analyzing what relates to both projects, I made a few remarks, diagnosed some flaws, inaccuracies and inconsistencies, and then proposed some practical suggestions and alternatives that I hope will attract the attention of the Ministry; especially those related to the necessity of utilizing “National Efforts” in developing border fields.

The extent and implications of lacking competitiveness and transparency, which consequently lead to questioning the integrity of the contractual process, have also been clearly identified.

It should be recalled that the Iraqi Constitution emphasizes two basic principles directly related to these two projects: the first concerns achieving "the highest benefit for the Iraqi people" and the second “using the most advanced techniques of the market principles". In the light of what was presented and analyzed below, it is clear that the Ministry did not comply with these Constitutional requirements and obligation.

The paper discusses the border fields/ blocks first then addresses the utilization of associated gas.

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Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former 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: mou-jiya(at), Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

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