Oil reserves in Iraq

Oil reserves in Iraq are considered the world’s fifth-largest proven oil reserves, with 140 billion barrels.[1][2] The sources for this oil is primarily located in the Shiite Muslims-majority and Arab Sunni Muslims-dominated areas on the other hand are comparatively lacking.[3]

As a result of military occupation and civil unrest, the official statistics have not been revised since 2001 and are largely based on 2-D seismic data from three decades ago. International geologists and consultants have estimated that unexplored territory may contain vastly larger reserves. The majority of Iraq's proven reserves of oil comes from the following cities: Basra (Being #1), Baghdad (Being #2), Ramadi (Being #3), and finally, Ba'aj (Being the last oil rich city).[4]

A measure of the uncertainty about Iraq's oil reserves is indicated by widely differing estimates. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated in 2003 that Iraq had 112 billion barrels (17.8×109 m3). The United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 1995 estimated proven reserves were 78 Gbbl (12.4×109 m3). Iraq's prewar deputy oil minister said that potential reserves might be 300 Gbbl (48×109 m3). The source of the uncertainty is that due to decades of war and unrest, many of Iraq's oil wells are run down and unkept. Repairs to the wells and oil facilities should make far more oil available economically from the same deposits. Iraq may prove to contain the largest extractable deposits of oil in the entire Middle East once these upgrading and facility improvements have advanced.[5]

After more than a decade of sanctions and two Gulf Wars, Iraq’s oil infrastructure needs modernization and investment. Despite a large reconstruction effort, the Iraqi oil industry has not been able to meet hydrocarbon production and export targets. The World Bank estimates that an additional $1 billion per year would need to be invested just to maintain current production. Long-term Iraq reconstruction costs could reach $100 billion or higher, of which more than a third will go to the oil, gas and electricity sectors. Another challenge to Iraq's development of the oil sector is that resources are not evenly divided across sectarian lines. Most known resources are in the Shiite areas of the south and the Kurdish north, with few resources in control of the Sunni population in the center.

In 2006, Iraq's oil production averaged 2.0 million barrels per day (320×103 m3/d), down from around 2.6 Mbbl/d (410×103 m3/d) of production prior to the coalition invasion in 2003.[4] Iraq's reserve to production ratio is 158 years. After the end of the invasion the production increased on a high level, even though there is an invasion from the so-called ISIL the production in March 2016 stood at 4.55 million barrels a day. Which seems to well become a new all-time peak year for Iraq if OPEC talks about freezing or reduce production held in April 2016 will not lead to a reduction. The old peak was 1979 with 171.6 million tons of oil compared to 136.9 million tons produced in 2011 and 152.4 million tons in 2012.[6][7]

Iraq Proved Oil Reserves
Proven oil reserves in Iraq (US EIA)
A map of world oil reserves according to U.S. EIA, 2017

Oil extraction contracts awarded


On June 30 and December 11, 2009, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil awarded contracts to international oil companies for some of Iraq's many oil fields. The winning oil companies entered joint ventures with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, and the terms of the awarded contracts include extraction of oil for a fixed gain of $1.40 per barrel for the oil companies with the remainder going to Iraq.[8][9] The fees will only be paid once a production threshold set by the Iraqi ministry of oil is reached.

Oil fields contracted include the "super-giant" Majnoon Field, Halfaya Field, West Qurna Field and Rumaila Field. The East Baghdad Field, situated in part under Sadr City, did not receive any bids and the Iraqi oil ministry is considering working the field itself. Oil minister Hussein al-Shahristani told Iraqi public television that the increasing oil production "would finance infrastructure projects across Iraq - schools, roads, airports, housing, hospitals".[9]

See also


  1. ^ "International Energy Statistics". Eia.gov. Archived from the original on 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  2. ^ "OPEC Share of World Crude Oil Reserves". OPEC. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  3. ^ "27 maps that explain the crisis in Iraq". vox.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Iraq Oil". Country Analysis Briefs. US Energy Information Administration. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  5. ^ Gal Luft (2003). "How Much Oil Does Iraq Have?". The Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  6. ^ "Iraq oil output hits record high ahead of production freeze talks". rt.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  7. ^ "statistical review of world energy 2013" (PDF). British Petroleum. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Oil firms awarded Iraq contracts". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  9. ^ a b "BP group wins Iraq oil contract". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2015.

External links

Al Başrah Oil Terminal

Al Başrah Oil Terminal, commonly referred to as ABOT, is a strategically critical Iraqi offshore, deep sea crude oil marine loading terminal that lies approximately 50 km (31 mi) southeast of the Al-Faw Peninsula in the Persian Gulf. Along with its sister terminal, the Khawr al ‘Amīyah Oil Terminal (ميناء خور العمية, alt. Khor al-Amaya Oil Terminal, KAAOT), the terminals provide the principal point of export for more than eighty percent of Iraq's gross domestic product as of 2009, and all of the oil from the southern Başrah refinery.

Crude oil produced for export from the southern Iraqi oilfields is carried through three 48 in (1.2 m) diameter pipelines to the southern tip of the al-Faw Peninsula and then undersea to the ABOT(29°40′54″N 48°48′33″E) platform. One 48 in (1.2 m) and two 32 in (0.81 m) pipelines supply the KAAOT(29°47′00″N 48°48′25″E) platform.The ABOT facilities can transfer up to 3 million barrels (480,000 m3) (Mbbl) of oil per day when all four of its supertanker berths operate at maximum capacity and has a maximum draft of 21 m (69 ft). Three single-point mooring systems (SPM) were added in 2012, each with a design rating of 800 thousand barrels (130,000 m3) (kbbl) of oil per day, and two more SPMs are planned to be operational by 2013 to increase total loading capacity to 6.4–6.6 Mbbl (1,020,000–1,050,000 m3) of oil per day.The KAAOT facility has a shallower depth and its two berths can accommodate Suezmax oil tankers with capacities up to 1 Mbbl (160,000 m3) or 200,000 DWT and has the capacity to transfer about 240 kbbl (38,000 m3) of oil daily.

Iraq Petroleum Company

The Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), known prior to 1929 as the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), is an oil company which, between 1925 and 1961, had a virtual monopoly on all oil exploration and production in Iraq. Today, it is jointly owned by some of the world's largest oil companies and is headquartered in London, England.

In June 1972, the Ba'athist government in Iraq nationalised the IPC and its operations were taken over by the Iraq National Oil Company. The company "Iraq Petroleum Company" still remains extant, however, on paper and one associated company – the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company (ADPC, formerly Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd) – also continues with its original shareholding intact.The related Iraq Petroleum Group was an association of companies that played a major role in the discovery and development of oil resources in areas of the Middle East outside Iraq.

List of countries by proven oil reserves

This is a list of countries by proven oil reserves. Proven reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated, with a high degree of confidence, to be commercially recoverable from a given date forward from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions.

Some statistics on this page are disputed and controversial. Different sources (OPEC, CIA World Factbook, oil companies) give different figures. Some of the differences reflect different types of oil included. Different estimates may or may not include oil shale, mined oil sands or natural gas liquids.

Because proven reserves include oil recoverable under current economic conditions, nations may see large increases in proven reserves when known, but previously uneconomic deposits become economic to develop. In this way, Canada's proven reserves increased suddenly in 2003 when the oil sands of Alberta were seen to be economically viable. Similarly, Venezuela's proven reserves jumped in the late 2000s when the heavy oil of the Orinoco was judged economic.

Petroleum industry in Iraq

Iraq was the world's 12th largest oil producer in 2009, and has the world's fifth largest proven petroleum reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran. Just a fraction of Iraq's known fields are in development, and Iraq may be one of the few places left where vast reserves, proven and unknown, have barely been exploited. Iraq's energy sector is heavily based upon oil, with approximately 94 percent of its energy needs met with petroleum. In addition, crude oil export revenues accounted for over two-thirds of GDP in 2009. Iraq's oil sector has suffered over the past several decades from sanctions and wars, and its oil infrastructure is in need of modernization and investment. As of June 30, 2010, the United States had allocated US$2.05 billion to the Iraqi oil and gas sector to begin this modernization, but ended its direct involvement as of the first quarter of 2008. According to reports by various U.S. government agencies, multilateral institutions and other international organizations, long-term Iraq reconstruction costs could reach US$100bn or higher.

Sassoon Eskell

Sir Sassoon Eskell, KBE (17 March 1860 – 31 August 1932) was an Iraqi statesman and financier. Also known as Sassoon Effendi (from Turkish Effendi, a title meaning Lord), he was regarded in Iraq as the Father of Parliament. Sir Sassoon (Arabic: ساسون حسقيل or ساسون حزقيال) was the first Minister of Finance in the Kingdom and a permanent Member of Parliament until his death. Along with Gertrude Bell and T. E. Lawrence, he was instrumental in the creation and the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq post Ottoman rule, and he founded the nascent Iraqi government’s laws and financial structure.

He was knighted by King George V in 1923. King Faisal I conferred on him the Civil Rafidain Medal Grade II, the Shahinshah awarded him the Shir-o-khorshi medal and the Ottoman Empire decorated him with the Al-Moutamayez Medal.

Oil reserves by country

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