After five years of delays which Iraq’s government says have cost the country billions of dollars, Baghdad has finally signed contracts for the six upstream licenses won in the 2018 Fifth Licensing Round (LR5: MEES, 27 April 2018).

That licensing round was primarily gas-focused, and the government’s failure to ratify the awards until now has exacerbated Iraq’s crippling gas shortages. A swifter process would by no means have resolved this issue, but it would have helped close the supply gap and reduce its reliance on unreliable Iranian imports (MEES, 24 February). (CONTINUED - 1376 WORDS)