Iraq, April 28, 2019
SULAIMANI — The International Energy Agency has said that Iraq is likely to become the fourth-largest oil producer in the world.
The IEA released the report, titled “Iraq’s Energy Sector: A Roadmap to a Brighter Future,” on Thursday (April 25).
The 59-page document provides a survey of the challenges to Iraq’s energy sector, discusses its proposects for growth over the next decade, and offers a series of recommendations.
“Despite the extraordinary challenges of war in recent years, Iraq has made impressive gains, nearly doubling the country’s oil production over the past decade,” the report said.
“But the turmoil has also undermined the country’s ability to maintain and invest in its power infrastructure.”
The IEA predicted that oil production in Iraq would increase by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030.
This would result in it becoming the world’s fourth-largest oil producer behind the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.
IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol presented the study’s findings and recommendations to President Barham Salih during a meeting on Wednesday, according to the IEA.
Birol also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and discussed ways to grow the energy sector, including making “best use of Iraq’s significant natural gas and solar resources.”
“In addition to oil, Iraq is blessed with some of the richest solar and gas resources in the world, but it is yet to take advantage of them. Turning that potential into fuel for its own economy and for export would help bring about a more sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future,” the IEA quoted Birol as saying.
Iraq is producing below its maximum capacity of nearly 5 million bpd in line with a production-cutting agreement between OPEC and allies such as Russia in order to support the global price of oil.
Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Thursday that Iraq had the capacity to increase its oil production to 6 million barrels per day if needed, but it was committed to OPEC-led output cuts and would not take unilateral action to boost supply.