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 Govt says Iraqi Kurdistan has 70 years of oil reserves

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  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author

 


Govt says Iraqi Kurdistan has 70 years of oil reserves  27.3.2011  

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March 27, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlêr
, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iraqi Kurdistan’s top natural resources official has affirmed that the semiautonomous region is “very wealthy,” with present reserves of about 200 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and at least 70 years’ worth of oil.

At a recent event to launch the ministry’s annual publication, Oil and Gas Year, Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said he expected Iraqi Kurdistan to be producing 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) by the year’s end.

“We now have an agreement with the Baghdad government to export [at least] 100,000 bpd from Kurdistan, but this number could rise to 200,000 by the end of this year,” said Hawrami, adding that Iraqi Kurdistan’s total production by the year’s end was planned to be at 300,000 bpd, a third of which would not be exported.

Hawrami did not seem concerned about ongoing disagreements over oil policies between the Kurdistan region and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Husein Shahristani.      

Kurdistan Regional Government Minister for Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan region. 2010. Photo: Reuters

“The daily profit from the Kurdistan region’s oil is now $US10 million, and no one is going to refuse such money,” said Hawrami. “We have an agreement with the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Nuri Maliki, so Shahristani is free to say what he wishes. He cannot influence or cause any harm to the export of Kurdish oil.”

The minister emphasized that Kurdistan was very wealthy in terms of oil and gas reserves.

“I can say that we now have around 70 billion barrels of oil reserves, which will be sufficient to cover the Kurdistan region’s needs for the next 70 years,” he said.

Furthermore, Hawrami said there were presently 200 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in the region, and this amount would easily supply the needs of all the factories and households in the region, including the cities bordering Iraqi Kurdistan.

He said the extra gas would be used to produce a further 5000 megawatts of electricity within the next two years.

“The use of [natural gas] is an essential step towards eradicating the electricity problem in Kurdistan permanently,” said Hawrami.

Every day, more foreign companies were arriving to exploit the oil and gas resources of the region, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had signed several agreements with such companies to assist in the development of this field, said Hawrami,
www.ekurd.netadding that the problems between Baghdad and the KRG regarding foreign oil companies and their contracts and costs were on the way to being solved.
 

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  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author

 
 

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