WELCOME TO IRAQ ENERGY FORUM 18TH MAY - 20TH MAY 2014
Today’s Iraq Energy Forum is taking place at a time when Iraq has already made considerable progress and we should celebrate the achievements made to date. In less than 5 years, oil production has increased some 30% reaching over 3.1 million barrels per day, export capacity in the southern corridor has reached 6 million barrels per day, the South Gas Project is in progress to reduce flaring and utilizing gas to meet local demand and gas development in Kurdistan Region has contributed to the economic growth of the northern provinces of Iraq, with much more to come.
After the recent review of production plateaus, realistic growth targets are now coming forth as the nation turns its attention upon capacity building and sustainability. The Iraq Energy Institute has since its formation in 2008 looked forward sharing its vision of a sustainable economy fuelled by a progressively successful oil & gas industry with leaders and decision makers across the world. Our thoughts from 2008 were well founded as we see now that Iraq is on the road to becoming an energy powerhouse and swing producer in the world’s oil and gas markets so that we can turn our attention to the details of developing and implementing such a sustainable strategy.
There is still a lot to do and hurdles to overcome to reach this goal but the progress to date should give us all optimism about our futures. Attracting capital investment, improving security, adopting new technologies and developing appropriate manpower are hurdles we can overcome given our record to date.
Our oil riches cannot be allowed to become our curse but must become the vehicle to deliver economic diversity and growth shared by all Iraqis for generations to come. Therefore the importance of capacity building and sustainability cannot be underestimated. The importance of the views expressed today and their resulting discussions also cannot be underestimated as they will, I am sure, help us shape Iraq’s sustainable and prosperous future.
Luay J. Al-Khateeb
Founder & Director
Iraq Energy Institute
27th March 2014