Iraqi oil minister invites business from the UAE
Iraq's Minister of Oil discusses UAE-Iraq cooperation in Abu Dhabi
The Iraqi Minister of Oil, His Excellency Abdul Karim Al Luaibi, is speaking at the Iraq Energy 2013/14: Opportunities for UAE-Iraq Cooperation conference in Abu Dhabi today.
This event, organized by The Energy Exchange and co-hosted by The Iraqi Business Council Abu Dhabi (IBCAD), is focused on the enormous opportunities for UAE-Iraq cooperation in the oil and gas industry.
The event furthermore has the official support of the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq Abu Dhabi. The Vice Chairman of the IBCAD, Mr Auday Almoman, says: “We are proud to be hosting the first event of its kind with The Energy Exchange in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is very important for Iraq to involve UAE based national and international companies in the rebuilding of Iraq given their vast experience and know-how.”
He explains that Iraq Energy 2013/2014 will contribute to smoothing the way for foreign investors as “many high-level Iraqi officials from various sectors will be involved in this event which will provide confidence for many to work and invest in Iraq.”
Mr Almoman continues: “Iraq has signed service contracts with many IOCs and requires experienced companies, investors and professionals to execute the huge scope of work.” He deems the UAE as most qualified, also being the regional headquarters of several well-renowned national and international contractors and service providers.
Iraq Energy 2013/14 event Director, Jinanda Sheth, says Iraq has seen tremendous progress in the development of its oil and gas sector since 2003. She adds: “The past 2 years alone have witnessed the agreement for the $17.2 billion gas flaring project and the fourth licensing bid round which led to a further three blocks being awarded.”
Fast tracking forward, says Sheth, it is widely anticipated that Iraq will invest around $200 billion in its upstream oil and gas sector in the next six years, “which is on top of $20 billion earmarked for its downstream sector, where investment is expected to start with its refinery and petrochemical facilities. Such downstream investments would turn Iraq into a major player in the international trade of petrochemical and refined products.”
She continues: “as IOCs continue to gain momentum with their projects and ramp up activities on the ground, there are now even more opportunities for investment partners and support services to get involved.”
According to Sheth, UAE-based companies have featured heavily in the rebuilding of Iraq’s oil and gas sector in recent years. She explains: “Abu Dhabi and Dubai based companies have established the UAE as an oil and gas hub with exceptional readily available products and services that Iraq can easily access.”
In 2010, Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline became the first UAE operator to establish flights to the Iraqi capital; an important step reflecting a commitment from the UAE to strengthen ties with Iraq. More recently, Dubai’s Emirates airline has increased weekly flights from 4 to 7. Jinanda Sheth says January 2012 saw the re-establishment in Abu Dhabi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-led initiative, known as the ‘Iraq – UAE Joint Committee Meeting’. “All positive indications that there are big business and future mutual opportunities between Iraq and the UAE.”