The Government of Iraq has formally committed to implement the EITI making it the single largest country in terms of proven oil reserves (11% of world’s resources) to do so. It is beginning the process to identify the stakeholders, appointing a suitable senior official to lead the implementation, and drafting a workplan for the full implementation. The oil industry is at a critical stage in Iraq with the drafting of oil legislation for the regulation of foreign investment which will be followed by a series of contract awards. It is intended that the EITI will sit within this regulatory framework.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Economic Council of Iraq, Dr Barham A Salih said: ‘Iraq is in the midst of a historic campaign of revival and reconstruction after decades of tyranny, mismanagement and war. The vast oil wealth that the country was blessed with is a key asset as it embarks on this journey. In order for the people of Iraq to enjoy the full benefit of this wealth rather than it becoming a curse as happened so many times in the pat, oil and gas need to be managed in an efficient and responsible way.’
The EITI Chairman, Peter Eigen, said ‘We welcome Iraq into the EITI family. We believe that the EITI will be an important tool in driving the recovery of the nation and ensuring that its abundant oil and gas wealth can be managed for the benefit of its citizens and sustained peace.’
Recognising the EITI’s multi-stakeholder approach, the Minister of Oil, Hussein Al-Shehristani, added ‘Part of [EITI’s] outcomes would be cooperation and coordination with states and organisations and international oil companies together with the exchange of experience … in addition to promoting trust in the foreign investment for the petroleum projects in Iraq … It is also an effective step towards eradicating corruption, both administrative and financial.’
The Government of Iraq has asked for technical assistance in implementing the EITI.
Further questions about Iraq and the EITI can be directed to Regional Director Eddie Rich at the EITI International Secretariat.