Q&A: Thamir Ghadhban, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil

As Iraq pursues energy independence, the country's oil chief is streamlining the bureaucracy, crafting new investment incentives, and preparing to award mega-projects.
Q&A: Thamir Ghadhban, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil
Thamir Ghadhban, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Oil Minister (center), tours the Karbala refinery that is currently under construction, on May 2, 2019. (Source: Iraqi Oil Ministry media office)

Eight months after taking the helm of Iraq's Oil Ministry and becoming deputy prime minister for energy, Thamir Ghadhban is streamlining the bureaucracy and implementing plans to feed new energy demand at home and abroad.

In an exclusive interview with Iraq Oil Report, Ghadhban discussed several of the ministry's strategic priorities -- including the imminent Heads of Agreement with ExxonMobil for a multi-billion dollar upstream development and infrastructure project, an initiative to revamp incentives for refinery investors, and key projects that will support the growth of Iraq's gas sector.

Ghadhban is well positioned to take bold steps. After serving twice as oil minister between 2003 and 2005, he oversaw the development of a landmark national energy strategy in 2012, and served as the chief economic advisor to two prime ministers.

On the sidelines of the CWC Iraq Petroleum conference in London, Ghadhban explained the work he has done behind the scenes to transform the ministry into an organization capable of implementing his vision. He also discussed his appetite for new upstream deals, including the projects awarded in the ministry's fifth bidding round and the potential for a sixth.

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.