There’s seldom a time when Iraq doesn’t command a certain amount of time in world news day-to-day. The country has been through drastic upheaval due to war and internal conflict.
At one point the country was the leading producer of crude oil in the entire world. Its economy relied on it so heavily that when this revenue stream was taken away from them, their economy crashed.
One of the most productive areas, North Rumaila, Basra, which is a province close to the border to Kuwait had an extended time of inactivity. This was primarily because the area was infiltrated by ISIL forces. Said rebel forces suspended production in the north and it dramatically affected the country’s economy.
The rebel forces however didn’t manage to take command of the more southern operations. Regardless, the affects of this caused ripples throughout Iraq’s oil industry and cost them to slip down the rankings in terms of crude oil production in industry tables.
With constant friction between rebel forces and the Iraqi army, the rich oil fields of North Rumaila were eventually seized back in 2010. The next step was to fortify the region and regain the trust of foreign investors and huge oil companies so that they could prove the region was safe to operate in once more.
The lure of the oil rich fields was too much, and in late 2010 an influx of oil companies returned to the area. With much of the equipment in North Rumaila damaged, the progress would be slow but with the long-term gains involved with operating there, the hard work started to renovate this once productive resource for crude oil.
On February 6, 2015 the Energy Information Administration reported that the hard work had eventually paid off. Iraq had posted seismic numbers for oil production in 2014. The country was averaging 3.4 million barrels per day, which was 330,000 more than the previous year. This rapid growth has seen Iraq become the second biggest producer of oil in the world.
By the end of 2015 RT Business forecasts that this figure will consistently be above 4 million barrels per day. Only the United States out performs Iraq in oil production across the globe. However, with such aggressive growth many industry experts are questioning if Iraq can surpass the United States within the next 10 years.
At the tail end of 2014 it was also announced that two leading oil companies, Sulzer and UnaOil had come to an agreement to operate in the region. The companies would offer “dedicated services for all rotating equipment for oil and gas, and power customers in Southern Iraq.” This field-servicing venture reaffirmed that leading companies were seeing this region as a long-term investment and were satisfied with the safety of the region.
As the figures increase year-on-year, Iraq’s oil industry is helping the country back to its feet once more and it’s providing locals with stable and well-paying jobs.