Iraq will increase its oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day in the next ten years to reach almost 6 million daily, and that will make it the fourth largest producer in the world, according to the projections of the International Energy Agency (IEA) .
In a report published on Thursday, the IEA notes that this expected increase will be less than that Iraq achieved in the last decade, when that country doubled its production and became the “world number five” despite the situation of war against the Islamic State and the swings of the price of crude oil.
In spite of everything, this organization that gathers the main consumers of energy members of the OECD indicates that the expected progression during the next will be conditioned to three factors that depend on the Iraqi authorities.
The aim is to ensure the supply of water necessary for the injection of wells, attract foreign capital and implement a policy favorable to the sector that offers a safe environment.
The study authors estimate that Iraq will need three million barrels a day of water to inject into the subsoil.
Another problem faced by Iraq’s oil sector is illustrated by the fact that last year only 60% of the capacity of the refineries was used, which is one million barrels per day, which translates into a great dependence on the importation of refined products for its internal market.
The annual bill for these insufficiencies in refining is between 2,000 and 2,500 million dollars.
The IEA notes, on the other hand, that Iraq uses much less gas, and in a much less productive way, than other countries in the region, and not precisely because it lacks this resource.
In fact, the rise in oil withdrawals has meant that each year more than 16 million cubic meters of gas are burned in oil farms instead of being used.
Although the efforts of Basra Gas Company have allowed to recover and process about 10 million cubic meters, the agency believes that this has to increase to meet the growing needs for electricity generation.
Above all, considering that every year the Iraqi population increases by one million people. The IEA says the electric demand in Iraq will double by 2030 and will reach about 150 terawatt hours.
That means incorporating an average generation capacity of 17.5 gigawatts each year.
For the authors of the report, there is an “enormous potential” to reduce the losses of the electrical system, which are among the largest in the world.
Reduce these losses and use more efficiently for the generation of gas and renewable energy, would allow to release in the horizon of 2030 for other uses up to 9 million cubic meters of gas and export another 430,000 barrels of oil per day.