from the Financial Times..
July 8, 2013
By Guy Chazan
When it comes to the world’s rising oil powers, none has risen quite as quickly – and with such profound implications for global crude markets – as Iraq.
Ravaged by decades of war and sanctions, Iraq’s oil industry is making a remarkable recovery. Production has rebounded strongly thanks to big investments by western majors in the country’s long-neglected southern oilfields.
“We see Iraq as one of the countries that will be making the most significant contributions to world oil supply over the next 5-10 years,” says Jessica Brewer, Middle East research analyst at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
By any measure, the comeback is striking. Iraq’s oil production has increased by 1m barrels a day since 2002, the year before the US invasion, to about 3m b/d. Last year it hit a crucial milestone when it overtook Iran to become Opec’s second-biggest producer after Saudi Arabia.
But storm clouds could threaten Iraq’s revival. Bottlenecks are undermining continued production growth: weak government institutions mean contracts for crucial infrastructure projects are not being awarded quickly enough. A deficit of skilled workers is dogging the industry.
“There are a lot of issues that are out of the western oil companies’ hands, such as Iraq’s infrastructure constraints,” Ms Brewer says. “There is a shortage of pipeline, storage and pumping station capacity.”…
Link to the entire article: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ab53a0ce-e49b-11e2-875b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2YZNa23cv