Iraq conventional oil will be worthy competitor for US shale oil

18 June 2013 10:11  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Iraqi efforts to reinvent the nation’s strategic role as a worthy competitor for rising US shale oil production will be the main focus of the seventh Iraq Petroleum 2013 conference, conference chairman Alirio Parra said on Tuesday.

“Change in the global energy markets is intensifying competition. The first change is US shale oil – a new assessment of shale has been completed and it suggests the first real steps to exploitation outside the US is taking place,” Parra said.

He added: "We may indeed be witnessing the very early stages of diversification of oil and gas. This is where Iraq oil comes into place. Iraq is to conventional oil what [the] US is to unconventional oil. Both look to increasing oil production. In fact, Iraq can only be matched by the US."

2013 will be a significant year for Iraqi oil, as production in the country has reached a watershed of 3m bbl/day, Parra said.

However, recent violence in Iraq was unexpected: "Trends may not hold up as we had expected," Parra said on the country's infrastructure development.

Despite having the fifth-largest proven oil reserves in the world, Iraq has failed to meet its targets to increase oil production because of political setbacks and poor infrastructure.

Around 300 delegates have gathered at the conference, which opened in London on Tuesday and is being held at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Senior figures in Iraq's national government and the international energy markets are also in attendance.

Iraq's contribution to the stability and security of the global energy markets is also expected to be high on the agenda at the conference.

Also on the agenda are risks facing Iran's upstream sector, its unique infrastructure challenges, financial tips for investors in the Iraqi energy sector and the accelerated construction in Kurdistan to support Iran's oil and gas industry.

By: Cuckoo James
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