Iraq is making a big push to revitalize its hydrocarbons industry with a projected $145 billion oil projects planned or underway at the end of last month, according to MEED’s Gulf Projects Index.The value represents 28 percent of some $519 billion that have been poured into ongoing projects or will be invested in projects in the pipeline. In the region, only Saudi Arabia with $1.05 trillion and the UAE with $713.15 billion have larger projects markets, making Iraq currently the fastest growing projects market in the region.Against this backdrop, MEED will host the Ir aq Energy Projects conference on Feb. 25-27, 2014 at the Westin Mina Seyahi which will detail the very latest opportunities in Iraq’s oil & gas, power & water, as well as chemical sectors.
Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister, UAE’s Ministry of Energy, UAE; and Karim Aftan Al Jumaili, Minister, Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity, have confirmed their participation as speakers and will provide conference attendees the most authoritative insights on the latest energy developments in Iraq. Al Mazrouei will speak on increasing trade and cooperation between UAE and Iraq, while Al Jumaili will make a keynote presentation focusing on cooperation between UAE and Iraq’s power ambitions and priorities.“Iraq Energy Projects 2014 is the definitive event for all those serious about business opportunities in Iraq’s oil and gas, power and petrochemical sectors. In addition to the high level of speakers and experts sharing their insights on Iraq, attendees will be able to meet Iraqi lawmakers and gain clarity on future policy through open Q&A sessions at the event,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events.In addition, O’ Sullivan said delegates will receive hands on tactical expertise and transfer of expert experience on how to successfully deliver projects in Iraq.At the start of 2014 , Iraq has become one of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets,  offering huge opportunities for those fast and flexible enough to gain a foothold. The semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan has long been an outpost of stability and prosperity.  Its capital, Erbil, has become the first stop for many foreign firms looking to establish a presence in Iraq. To the south, federal Iraq is rapidly rebuilding after decades of repression, sanctions and war. In the coming months, a raft of new legislation will be introduced. This will include vital new hydrocarbons and infrastructure laws that will substantially boost the redevelopment of the country. Following the introduction in 2006 of Iraq’s Investment Law, which established the National Investment Commission to streamline processes for establishing businesses in Iraq, there are now a host of local firms looking for partners.“Any international company that establishes itself in Iraq at this stage is sure to win many allies that will provide a valuable first-mover advantage for long and fruitful business in the years ahead,” added Richard Thompson, editorial director, MEED.The level of interest in project opportunities in Iraq has been so high, with Iraq about to hold its third round of parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. The elections will be free and they will be multi-party. And, despite the many challenges facing the country, they symbolize the progress made in Iraq over the past decade, and the potential that lies in one of world’s great oil-producing giants.