Iraqi Oil: industry evolution and short and medium-term prospects
Iraq has been a key contributor to OPEC liquids growth, with IOCs in southern Iraq having added approximately 1.7–1.8 mb/d (million barrels per day) in the period 2011–16. With renewed focus on medium-heavy sour markets in light of OPEC output policy, geopolitical supply-side disruptions and Asian refining dynamics, Iraq’s future role in oil markets is of critical importance. This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of Iraq’s short-medium term production outlook by assessing the interplay between upstream, midstream and downstream trends. This interplay will take place against the backdrop of Iraq’s changing crude quality, delays to increasing onshore storage and pumping capacity, the growing need for water for oil injection needs, and the growing requirement for Iraq to upgrade existing refineries to meet both refined product demand and to manage the changing quality of crude feedstock as production growth gets heavier.