Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iraqi Kurdistan’s top
natural resources official has affirmed that the
semiautonomous region is “very wealthy,” with
present reserves of about 200 trillion cubic meters
of natural gas and at least 70 years’ worth of oil.
At a recent event to launch the ministry’s annual
publication, Oil and Gas Year, Natural Resources
Minister Ashti Hawrami said he expected Iraqi
Kurdistan to be producing 300,000 barrels of crude
oil per day (bpd) by the year’s end.
“We now have an agreement with the Baghdad
government to export [at least] 100,000 bpd from
Kurdistan, but this number could rise to 200,000 by
the end of this year,” said Hawrami, adding that
Iraqi Kurdistan’s total production by the year’s end
was planned to be at 300,000 bpd, a third of which
would not be exported.
Hawrami did not seem concerned about ongoing
disagreements over oil policies between the
Kurdistan region and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for
Energy Husein Shahristani.
Kurdistan Regional Government Minister for Natural
Resources Ashti Hawrami, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
region. 2010. Photo: Reuters
“The daily profit
from the Kurdistan region’s oil is now $US10
million, and no one is going to refuse such money,”
said Hawrami. “We have an agreement with the Iraqi
government and Prime Minister Nuri Maliki, so
Shahristani is free to say what he wishes. He cannot
influence or cause any harm to the export of Kurdish
The minister emphasized that Kurdistan was very
wealthy in terms of oil and gas reserves.
“I can say that we now have around 70 billion
barrels of oil reserves, which will be sufficient to
cover the Kurdistan region’s needs for the next 70
years,” he said.
Furthermore, Hawrami said there were presently 200
trillion cubic meters of natural gas in the region,
and this amount would easily supply the needs of all
the factories and households in the region,
including the cities bordering Iraqi Kurdistan.
He said the extra gas would be used to produce a
further 5000 megawatts of electricity within the
next two years.
“The use of [natural gas] is an essential step
towards eradicating the electricity problem in
Kurdistan permanently,” said Hawrami.
Every day, more foreign companies were arriving to
exploit the oil and gas resources of the region, and
the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had signed
several agreements with such companies to assist in
the development of this field, said Hawrami,www.ekurd.netadding
that the problems between Baghdad and the KRG
regarding foreign oil companies and their contracts
and costs were on the way to being solved.
author or news agency, rudaw.net