As Iraq’s Oil Ministry pushes to tackle long-standing issues – both upstream and downstream, oil and gas (MEES, 12 April) – the State Oil Marketing Organization (Somo) is quietly working to fundamentally overhaul the way Iraq sells its most valuable resource.

“Our main intention is to get a better netback for each barrel of crude that we export,” Director General Alaa Alyasri tells MEES in a recent interview at Somo’s Baghdad HQ (see transcript, MEES, 24 May). Mr Alyasri assumed the post in September 2017, replacing Falah Al-Amri who initially envisaged the shakeup of Somo the year before (MEES, 15 September 2017). “Once taking over office, I immediately turned to the medium- and long-term plans, and the mechanisms that will make these possible,” Mr Alyasri says. (CONTINUED - 1016 WORDS)