Iraq petroleum conference to discuss growth amid conflict conditions

17 June 2014 11:38 Source:ICIS News

IraqLONDON (ICIS)--The eighth Iraq Petroleum Conference would provide a platform to discuss ongoing Iraqi efforts to raise its oil and gas production capacity against the backdrop of the dramatic political crisis in the country, conference chairman Alirio Parra said on Tuesday during the event's welcome address.

Parra highlighted the IEA’s forecast that: "Over 60% of the OPEC production growth over the next five years will come from rising oil production in Iraq.”

However, “Conflict conditions always lead to slow growth,” added Parra, who was Venezuela’s minister of energy and mines from 1992 to 1994, and head of its OPEC delegation.

Even without the current conflict in Iraq involving the capturing of several cities by the insurgent group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), steps towards making Iraq the world’s leading oil producer faces significant challenges.

“On the constraints, structure and storage facilities are still lacking. It is a slow process.”

Around 300 delegates, including senior figures in Iraq's national government and the oil and gas industry have gathered at the conference, which opened in London on Tuesday at the Grand Connaught Rooms.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Nuri Shaways, who was due to attend the gathering, failed to join due to the political crisis in the country.

Iraq's energy sector achievements over the past few years and security of the global energy markets is also expected to be high on the agenda at the conference.

Also to be discussed are the risks facing Iran's upstream sector, its unique infrastructure challenges, financial tips for investors in the Iraqi energy sector and the hurdles of exporting oil from Kurdistan.

The IEA in its June oil market report cut its outlook for Iraqi oil production capacity by almost half a million barrels a day, estimating an output of just 4.5 million barrels a day by 2019.

The latest events in Iraq, if the conflict does not worsen, may not “put additional Iraqi oil supplies immediately at risk because production from the north of the country, averaging around 250,000-300,000 bbl/day in 2013-early 2014, had already been off the market since early March due to violence in Anbar province and attacks on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline linking supply from Iraq’s northern fields to world markets via Turkey,” the IEA said.

By Cuckoo James