World Bank: Iraq’s Oil Sector has Made Great Progress

(Independent) .. World Bank confirmed its commitment to support Iraq to benefit more from the oil sector, the most important source of revenue in the country and turn it into an engine for development.

The World Bank noted in a recent report that the recovery in the Iraqi oil sector has made great progress despite the continuing fragility of the security situation, pointing out that Iraq depends on oil and gas as a source for about 98% of exports and 96% of its revenue official.

The report stated: “With the adoption of a new strategy for the energy supported by the World Bank, Iraq looks beyond to make short-term gains realized by oil and gas exports to focus on the diversification of the economy in the medium term.”

The World Bank called for Iraq to limit its dependence on the energy sector strong.

The Iraqi government has initiated through the adoption of “National Strategy for Integrated Energy” last year, in the implementation of an ambitious plan to bring about a shift in the energy sector with plans to allocate more than 600 billion dollars for this sector over the next 16 years.

The head of the Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister Thamer Ghadban: “National Strategy for Energy exceed the short-term focus on maximizing exports and oil revenues … rise in oil production and lighting back again.”

Iraq hopes to diversify resources and create about 10 million jobs by 2030, through the development of the gas sector, energy and value-added industries associated with them.

A decade ago, after the war in Iraq, was Iraq’s energy sector is facing a crisis, and by the year 2009, under the oil production in Iraq without pre-war levels, and estimated losses resulting from the repetition of power outages and the burning of massive amounts of gas into the air daily at about 40 billion dollars annually.

The report says that the treatment of the destruction and the low investment always take a long time, however, the efforts made by the Iraqi government and development partners started to bear fruit, the first time since the war, and specifically in the fall of 2013, I got the Iraqi capital Baghdad on electricity for 24 hours a day.

The report pointed out that the national energy strategy, which was developed with support from the Fund of Iraq, which is managed by the World Bank, is the result of a concerted effort between the key ministries in Iraq, oil, electricity, finance, planning, water, environment, industry and minerals.

The director of the energy sector, the management of the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank Charles Cormier, “became our more comprehensive since it developed the National Strategy for Energy, and become subjects reform the gas sector, and reduce shrinkage of electricity, and the reform of the distribution sector, renewable energy and energy efficiency on the table” .

The report said that the World Bank provided support for the international consulting firm in order to provide support for the Iraqi government in the preparation of the National Strategy for Energy.

He said a team of experts, the bank developed and provided advice and important notes during the setup process, and work closely with the Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister of Iraq to make sure that the power of the process of counseling with participation of opinion with stakeholders from ministries, parliament, civil society and academics.

The director of sustainable development for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank Junaid Kamal Ahmad: “One of the encouraging results of this work are significant shift in the focus of the Iraqi government, Voloyat energy sector now exceed the inevitable increase in oil revenues in the short term.”

He added that the strategy aimed to exceed the economic activity in the non-oil sectors and invasive growth in the oil and gas sector by 2020. (Independent)

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