Iraq

EITI Status Meaningful progress
Joined EITI in 2010
Latest Data From 2016
Latest Validation 2019
Website EITI Iraq
Last updated 3 December 2019

Overview

Through its 80 known oil fields, Iraq is estimated to have almost 10% of the world’s proven reserves (143 billion barrels) and 2% of the world’s natural gas reserves, making it the largest EITI implementing country by oil and gas reserves. The Rumaila and West Qurna fields together hold more proven oil reserves than the entire United States. According to the International Energy Agency, Iraq has the potential to earn USD 5 trillion in oil revenues between 2013 and 2035. For the same time period, it is estimated that Iraq will provide 45% of global production growth and become the world's second largest exporter of oil. Internal conflict and cut-backs in investment due to low oil prices are among the factors hampering Iraq's ability to reach this potential.

In Baghdad-administered Iraq, the industry is completely state-owned, with the oil marketing company SOMO selling crude to 40 accredited international companies on behalf of four producing companies, South Oil Company, North Oil Company, Missan Oil Company and Midland Oil Company. According to the latest IEITI Report, over 4.38 million barrels per day were produced in 2016 (including production in Iraqi Kurdistan). The eleven international Technical Service Contracts (TSCs) that have been signed hold the promise of a total production of over 13 million barrels per day. If this figure were ever achieved, Iraq would become the largest oil producer in the world. The current goal of the Ministry of Oil is to reach a production capacity of 6.5 million barrel per day by 2022.

The semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has a series of production sharing agreements with international companies.

All officially exported oil from Iraq, including from Kurdistan, goes through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline with ports at Basra and Ceyhan (in Turkey). Any oil in that pipeline is officially the property of SOMO, the Iraqi state-owned oil company. 

Production

Natural resources

Iraq has approximately 9.5% of the world’s proven oil reserves (143,069 million barrels) and major natural gas reserves (at least 3,158 BCM, estimated to be 5% of the world total). In spite of this potential, production over the last decade has been relatively low at around 2.0 - 4.3 million barrels per day due to the ongoing violence.

In addition to Iraq’s oil and gas resources, it possesses some of the world’s richest reserves of sulfur and phosphate as well as other minerals. The 2016 IEITI Report states that Geosurv-Iraq of Iraq estimates the proved phosphate reserves in the country to be 10 billion metric tons - among the top-ten largest reserves in the world. The mining sector is not currently developed, however, and the IEITI Report does not register any private company payments to the government in the sector.

CommodityReservesUnitSignificance
Oil148.8billion barrelsapprox. 9.5% of aggreagate oil reserves in the world
Gas3.5trillion cubic meters
Phosphate10billion metric tonnes

Oil and gas production

Initializing chart.

Revenue collection

Oil and gas revenues for 2016 amounted to USD 43.6 billion, primarily from crude oil sales to 40 international crude oil buyers. Although total production has increased over the last few years, revenues peaked in 2012 and have since fallen due to the internal conflict and lack of investment in infrastructure.

YearCrude oil export revenues (USD million)
201389,214.5
201484,129.8
201549,058.2
201643,622.9

 

Initializing chart.

Reconciled revenues by company

Revenue allocation

Iraq's natural resources are 100% state-owned. The state-owned enterprise SOMO sells oil and gas on behalf of the state. 95% of revenues from the sale of oil and gas are deposited in the UN-mandated Development Fund for Iraq at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The DFI is managed by the Central Bank of Iraq on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. The remaining 5% are deposited in the United Nations Compensation Fund in accordance with UNSCR 1483 (2003), although these payments were suspended in the 2015-2017 period due to security constraints. There are subnational transfers linked to oil and gas revenues in Iraq, 'Petrodollar allocations', although these have only been transferred to al-Basrah Province in 2015-2016.

Policy recommendations and reforms

Iraq’s national oil companies are audited by the Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit (BSA) based on local Iraqi accounting standards. When originally developed in the 1980s, these standards were based on International Accounting Standards (IAS). Since then the BSA’s standards have been updated, but not in accordance with the IAS. During the course of reconciling differences for the first IEITI Report, the Independent Administrator found that differences in the accounting standards created an “understanding gap between national oil companies as compared with the industry practice”.

All of Iraq EITI’s reports recommend that “National Oil Companies should be audited in accordance with International Accounting Standards and International Financial Reporting Standards”.

The EITI reports also recommend that buyers provide their audited financial statements yearly to the state’s oil marketing company, SOMO, to ensure that these are in fact available upon request. The Government of Iraq has not yet implemented these recommendations.

Innovations

The EITI encourages multi-stakeholder groups to explore innovative approaches to make the EITI more relevant and useful.

  • EITI Report covers export sales of oil, disaggregated by buying company.
  • EITI Report includes detailed production figures and a chapter on mining in Iraq.

Implementation

In an unprecedented gathering of civil society representatives from all over the country, Iraq EITI refreshed part of its multi-stakeholder group in December 2014.

In February 2014, Iraq EITI submitted a request for adapted implementation, being unable to guarantee the comprehensive disclosure of material payments collected by the KRG. The Board agreed with the request for the 2012 and 2013 EITI Reports. 

Following protracted negotiations between the IEITI and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the Iraq EITI produced an update of its 2010 report in May 2013, including a chapter on Kurdistan’s oil and gas production and revenues from exports, assessed by the Supreme Audit Board.

On 9 August 2012 the Iraq EITI Council agreed a final Validation report. The EITI Board declared Iraq compliant on 12 December 2012.

The first EITI Report covering 2009 was published in December 2011. The 2009 EITI Report covered export sales of all officially exported oil from Iraq, including from Kurdistan, which go through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline with ports at Basra and Ceyhan (in Turkey). Any oil in that pipeline is the property of SOMO, the Iraqi state-owned oil company. 

Iraq was accepted as an EITI Candidate country by the Board on 10 February 2010.

In December 2018, Iraq EITI submitted a new request for adapted implementation, being unable to guarantee the comprehensive disclosure of material payments collected by the KRG. The Board is currently considering this request. 

Timeline

Validation

On 16 October 2019, Iraq was found to have made meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard following its second Validation. Prior to this, the country had been suspended following its first Validation, in which it was found to have achieved inadequate progress in implementing the EITI Standard in October 2017.

Assessment card: Progress by requirement

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