Interview: the future of Iraqi natural gas

Energy expert Luay Jawadal-Khatteeb calls Shell’s associated gas deal “unethical,” explains why Iraq needs a gas master plan that will meet domestic needs first.

BAGHDAD - As Iraq tries to become the world’s largest oil producer, quintupling its capacity to more than 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd), it must overcome not only the normal challenges of petroleum engineering, but also the institutional and security challenges of a country sputtering toward full sovereignty.

A month-long heatwave has caused a spike in electricity demand, power shortages, over-reliance on generators, and a run on fuel. On Tuesday, more than 60 people were killed in suicide and roadside bombings and silenced-pistol assassinations. Five months after a national election, politicians have still not negotiated the formation of a new government. Despite such volatility, foreign companies have signed up to invest billions in oil deals, and Iraq is prepping to offer three dry gas field contracts in an auction on Oct. 1.

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.