Document Type : Original research
Iraq is announced as one of the first fifth countries which hold the most crude oil inventories and the first fifteenth world gas reserves. The ten-year-old plan of oil and gas fields development in this country which has been started in 2008, has experienced four of tenders between the years 2009 and 2012. Oil production of this country has reached 3.2 million barrels a day in 2012 and placed Iraq in the third place as a petroleum exporter before Iran. There are serious uncertainties about crude oil stocks and production in Iraq. Also, various statistics are issued by different sources. Critical challenges for Iraq in developing oil fields are: lack of export terminals, electricity shortage, lack of water for injecting oil fields, insecurity, restrictions wells and other top level equipment limitations, legal uncertainties, expert labor limitations, and insufficient financing. The effective presence of various Chinese companies in Iraq’s fields demonstrates special strategic attention of China to Iraq’s hydrocarbon resources for oncoming requirements of this country. This may lead to replacement of Iran’s oil with Iraq’s and change Chinese oil supply strategies. As a result, Iranian oil embargo may potentially maintain and expanded.