Deals in limbo as Oil Ministry fights political headwinds

As populist MPs raise unsubstantiated corruption allegations around oil projects, decision makers are moving cautiously on major initiatives while they beat back political opportunists.
Deals in limbo as Oil Ministry fights political headwinds
Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban (third from left), flanked by deputies and senior directors general, hosts MPs and other critics at the State Oil Marketing Organization's headquarters to explain how the oil sale process works on April 9, 2019. (Source: Iraqi Oil Ministry's media office)

BAGHDAD - Six months into Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban’s tenure, his ministry is fighting against major political headwinds as it pursues strategically important deals.

Surrounded by grandstanding politicians who have already raised a variety of unsubstantiated corruption allegations, the Oil Ministry has taken a deliberate approach to two major sets of initiatives that had gained momentum under the previous administration: upstream deals awarded in the ministry’s fifth bidding round, in April 2018; and a massive suite of infrastructure projects that are critical to increasing Iraq’s production and exports.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.
Iraq Oil Report Attribution Policy

All sources quoted or referenced spoke to Iraq Oil Report directly and exclusively, unless stated otherwise. Iraq Oil Report typically grants anonymity to sources that can't speak without risking their personal safety or job security. We only publish information from anonymous sources that we independently corroborate and are important to core elements of the story. We do not provide anonymity to sources whose purpose is to further personal or political agendas.

Iraq Oil Report Commitment to Independence

Iraq Oil Report strives to provide thoroughly vetted reporting and fair-minded analysis that enables readers to understand the dynamic events of Iraq. To meet this goal, we always seek to gather first-hand information on the ground, verify facts from multiple angles, and solicit input from every stakeholder involved in a given story.

We view our independence as an integral piece of our competitive advantage. Whereas many media entities in Iraq are owned or heavily influenced by political parties, Iraq Oil Report is wholly owned by several of its employees. In a landscape that is often polarized and politicized, we are able to gather and corroborate information from an unusually wide array of sources because we can speak with all of them in good faith.

To fund this enterprise, Iraq Oil Report depends on revenue from both advertising and subscriptions. Some of our advertisers and subscribers ‐ including companies, governments, and NGOs ‐ are also subjects of our reporting. Consistent with journalistic best practices, Iraq Oil Report maintains a strict firewall that removes business considerations from editorial decision-making. When we are choosing which stories to report and how to write them, our readers always come first.