The struggle for mastery of Iraq’s $20tn oil and gas reserves

According to the annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy published this month, Iraq has 150bn barrels of proven crude oil reserves.
Its126.7tn standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas reserves is the equivalent of a further 21bn barrels.

With oil prices now above $110 a barrel, that means the market value of Iraq’s proven hydrocarbon reserves this summer is about $16.5tn.

This is probably an underestimate.

MEED’s annual Kurdistan Projects conference at the start of June was told that potential oil reserves in parts of Iraq it controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) could be greater than 100bn barrels. This is more than double the figure usually associated with the three northern provinces of Iraq.

Add that to the total and the value of oil in Iraq’s soil could be more than $20tn.

This is a mind-boggling figure. The developing contest for this prize lies at the heart of the crisis racking Iraq, the region and the world this summer.

Iraq’s massive mineral wealth is in play, but everything else involves guesswork.

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