The fifth annual Iraq Petroleum Conference, with support from Upstream Principle Sponsor Crescent Petroleum, the Middle East's longest established private petroleum company, is currently underway in London.
Bringing together leading officials and industry executives – including Crescent Petroleum CEO Majid H. Jafar – the conference is focused on the next phase of developing Iraq's oil and gas resources as well as the current and future upstream opportunities.
In his presentation, titled Iraq’s Petroleum Potential: Policy Challenges Ahead, the Crescent Petroleum CEO stated that, on a global scale, and even with conservative estimates for oil demand growth, the world will need the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every 5 to 7 years, and that Iraq is perhaps the last untapped source of high potential and low cost oil on earth.
Speaking during the opening day’s first session on Iraq’s new government upstream strategy, he said: “Looking forward, the challenge for us is to maximize the revenues of Iraq’s massive energy reserves and potential, while responsibly deploying them in order to develop a diversified economy and wider prosperity for the Iraqi people.
“Iraqis maintain a strong sense of nationalism and self-reliance in oil matters, partly due to the decades of conflict and sanctions which left its oil sector isolated,” he explained, and quoted Article 112 of Iraq’s Constitution, which requires that the federal government, with the producing regional and governorate governments, “shall together formulate the necessary strategic policies to develop the oil and gas wealth in a way that achieves the highest benefit to the Iraqi people using the most advanced techniques of market principles and encouraging investment.”
He added that “the development of the local Iraqi private sector in every part of the value chain, from upstream to downstream, as well as contracting and services, is a vital objective to ensure maximum local economic benefit and job creation.”
Jafar was joined during the session – under chairman H.E. Thamir Ghadhban, Chairman of the Advisory Commission to the PM of Iraq – by H.E. Haider Al Abadi, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, Iraqi Parliament; Kenneth Fairfax, Minister Counsellor for Economic Affairs, American Embassy Baghdad; and Hans Nijkamp, Shell Vice President and Country Chairman - Iraq.
The Iraq Petroleum Conference, which brings together government and industry experts and serves as a forum to explore Iraq’s resource and business potential, kicked off at The Landmark Hotel yesterday (12 July), with international oil and gas companies from 70 countries, as well as key Iraqi oil and gas industry experts, in attendance.