BASRA - Two key elements were missing from the Second Basra Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Basra over the weekend: the major foreign oil companies and the most senior officials from the Iraqi Oil Ministry.
Their absence was in many ways symbolic of Iraq's oil sector today. The opportunity to do business is real – the conference was by no means empty, with hundreds of Iraqis and foreigners attending the symposium and lining the expo hall – but security, while improved, remains the biggest impediment, and likewise makes up a sizeable portion of the costs of oil development.
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