Iraq Special Report

Special Reports

Iraq is home to a conservatively-estimated 143 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves – the world’s fifth largest – plus the 12th largest proven natural gas reserves at almost 112 trillion cubic feet (3.17 trillion cubic metres).

Like all frontier markets, the country’s hydrocarbons sector development plans are subject to frequent change. This is exacerbated in Baghdad’s case by ethnic tensions and the activities of the militant Islamic state group in the region. In addition, oil production is capped by infrastructure bottlenecks and the government’s lack of funds to drive field development. Once all of the pieces click into place though, oil production could rival – or even exceed Saudi Arabian levels.

As it stands, Iraq’s crude oil production has grown by 950,000 barrels per day since 2010, increasing from almost 2.4 million bpd to nearly 3.4 million bpd on average in 2014, making it the second largest crude oil producer in OPEC. With Baghdad in the process of re-negotiating its oil contracts, and billions of dollars of investments required in the country’s up-, mid- and downstream sectors if it is to even come close to achieving its production targets, Iraq boasts a wealth of opportunity.



  • Iraq: the last great oil frontier
  • While Iraq is a well-known oil producer, it continues to present a wealth of tantalising opportunities in terms of un-explored areas, improved contract terms and infrastructure projects.


  • KRG and SOMO’s uneasy relationship at key inflection point
  • Pipeline politics have been central to relations between Baghdad and Erbil. If Iraq is to achieve its lofty output ambitions, a steady relationship must be established.


  • Iraq to follow Iran’s lead in renegotiating contracts
  • Increasingly influenced by Iran, Baghdad is likely to look again to its neighbour for guidance, potentially basing its new contract model on the much-discussed Iranian Integrated Petroleum Contract (IPC).


  • Iraq and the IOCs: tracking down the problem in payments
  • With debts of around US$27 billion, Iraqi oil funds have a bad habbit of disappearing. NewsBase follows the paper trail.


  • Iraq looks to bolster capital markets as problems sap funds
  • Iraq is desperate to attract large sums of foreign capital, and it has taken several steps to make investment in the country more pallatable.


  • Quick supply increases still in focus for Baghdad
  • Recent increases in supplies have brought optimism about Iraq's oil production prospects, but these are still likely to fall short of the ambitious targets.


  • Field Profiles
  • This section covers the oilfields of Halfaya, Gharraf, Nassiriya, Majnoon, Rumaila, West Qurna (I & II) and Zubair.


  • Remedying infrastructure constraints takes top priority
  • With export facilities imposing a physical ceilling on Iraqi oil exports, projects are underway to ease the situation and facilitate increased production.


  • Iraq: an overview of the petroleum provinces
  • Northern, central and southern Iraq have been fairly well explored, however, billions of barrels are likely to be found in areas as yet unexplored.


Edited by

Ian Simm


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