Iraq’s oil minister Ihsan Ismaael held a number of meetings in Paris and London last week as he sought to reassure key players in its energy sector. With talks over forming a new government in gridlock since the October 2021 parliamentary elections (MEES, 15 October 2021), investor concerns over Iraq’s operational environment are growing. During his European tour, the minister also unveiled a series of crude oil expansion targets of varying degrees of realism.

According to an Oil Ministry 27 May press release, Mr Ismaael told French bureaucrats from the ministries of energy and economy that the “planned production capacity target for 2022-2028” is 8mn b/d. Following a meeting with BP CEO Bernard Looney, Mr Ismaael had said that capacity would be ramped up to 6mn b/d “before end 2027,” then hitting 8mn b/d by the end of 2027. (CONTINUED - 1205 WORDS)