Jiyad: Iraq's Oil Licensing Rounds, Ten Years On

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

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

Iraq Oil Licenses Rounds - Views of the Architect and the Technocrat, Ten Years On

Petroleum licensing rounds, 2009-2010, are the most significant and impacting development that took place in post 2003 upstream petroleum and they manifest a grand opining for big push strategy.

These four bid rounds would make Iraq a game-changer with a total production plateau target of more than 12 million barrels daily (mbd) by 2017 from mostly supper giant and giant oilfields with a combined 68% of the country's proven reserves.

Number of directly contracted international oil companies (IOCs) exceeds 15, belonging to 12 countries including the five permanent members of the UN Security council. The governing modality is a long term service contract, a uniquely hybrid type, with a duration of ca. 30 years each.

The issue, i.e., the licensing rounds, has been and still is divisive and those standing against the bid rounds personalize the debate and were persistent in their opposition to the extent that they managed to introduce legal obligations to revise them.

That concerted anti efforts succeeded in forcing the Ministry of Oil (MoO), in 2018, to premised its fifth bid round on "profit-sharing contracts, which is the monetary side of production-sharing contract; MoO was, obviously, ill-advised and badly too.

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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)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad's biography here.

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