Iraq’s oil output has been erratic in recent years due to
sanctions and wars. After dipping in 2003 during the 2nd Gulf War it has
risen but had only just reached pre-war levels by 2008.
Iraq’s oil comes from the northern Zagros mountain belt and the Arabian
foredeep, an extension of the Persian Gulf. Both areas have large fields
but have not been fully developed. It is forecast that output will now
increase quite rapidly as investment proceeds and stability resumes.
Iraq has substantial gas resources but output is low due to lack of
investment. It should jmup in 2009 and rise rapidly thereafter as new
infrastructure is installed. The country has no offshore potential.
Iraqi oil consumption dropped in 2003 as a result of the
turmoil in the country during the war but is now increasing rather
As exports of oil pick up Iraq will have increased foreign revenue but
considerable amounts of investment are still required on new
infrastructure. Gas consumption will also eventually begin to increase,
replacing oil in any new industries that may be developed.
The country is unlikely to have begun exporting gas before 2020.