Iraq officially has 153 billion barrels of proven reserves; there are many undrilled prospective leads and prospects, representing about 300 billion barrels of possible reserves. Despite hopes that production would increase rapidly after the removal of sanctions, output remains at c. 3.4 million but may rise to 7 million barrels daily. Operating costs are one of the lowest in the world at under $4 per barrel. Iraq is largely unexplored for deep and unorthodox plays.
The instability that plagued Iraq since 1990 has continued, and indeed worsened since 2014. Contractual terms have generally been uneconomic due to excessive state take and inadequate incentives under service contracts available, bureaucracy and general administrative inertia due to which the hydrocarbon law and revenue-sharing laws have still not been passed, fifteen years after the 2003 war.
Politics change but geology doesn’t. Therefore we have maintained an Iraqi presence since 1997. We continue to hold an interest in Western Desert Block 6 and Merjan oil-field.