Basra safe for oil, gas investments: Basra Council
Ali Al Faris, chairman of Oil and Gas Committee at Basra Council says Iraqi armed forces have stepped up region's security to counter ISIS
Basra – the economic hotspot of Iraq – is now more secure than yesteryears for international investors to develop the region’s rich oil and gas reserves, a senior official has assured.
In an exclusive interview to arabianoilandgas.com, Ali Al Fares, chairman of Oil and Gas Committee at Basra Council, the political authority for Basra, said security has been beefed up considering threats from the Islamic State (ISIS).
“On countering ISIS and other terrorists specifically, our (Iraqi) armed forces are taking the necessary steps to counter all attacks and are achieving remarkable success in their efforts to ensure stability and security in Basra,” Fares said.
As Basra Company edges closer to begin operation, authorities will only strengthen the security apparatus, according to the official.
“The security situation in Basra has been stable for some time. As economic initiatives, like the establishment of Basra Company, come to fruition, the situation will only improve,” Fares commented.
The Basra Council had last month announced that it is in the process of establishing Basra Company, a regional development body charged with boosting the economy in the Governorate, through the attraction of foreign direct investment in key sectors, including oil, gas and infrastructure.
The Basra Governorate is home to 70% of Iraq’s proven gas reserves, estimated at almost 112tn cubic feet – the 12th largest in the world according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Basra also contains 59% of the Iraq oil reserves. However, the condition of many of the fields has deteriorated as a result of years of sanctions and war.
Iraqi political authorities are now looking to open up the region to international businesses for development, the security situation having improved in recent years.