Q&A: Bassem Abdul Karim Nassir, head of the Iraqi Drilling Company

Iraq's state company for drilling has idle rigs ready for more upstream development.
Bassem Abdul Karim at his office when he was director general of the Iraqi Drilling Company. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

As OPEC quotas ease and high oil prices raise the incentives for upstream development, the state-run Iraqi Drilling Company (IDC) is ready for new projects.

In an interview with Iraq Oil Report, IDC Director General Bassem Abdul Karim Nassir said the company owns 43 rigs, of which 30 meet the standards of international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Iraq. Just 22 of those rigs are currently active.

The company also wants to expand its fleet and revamp old equipment, but those plans are contingent on securing an allocation from the federal budget, which is still pending in the absence of a new government.

Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in OPEC but remains largely unexplored, and there are vast regions in which there has been no exploration activity, particularly for natural gas. A ministerial committee has been set up to revive gas exploration projects with the IDC’s involvement, Nassir said.

A full transcript of the interview is available for Iraq Oil Report subscribers below.

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