Iraq: A Central Force in the Global Energy Market

Iraq: A Central Force in the Global Energy Market

Published about 2 months ago at 04 June 2024

Iraq stands as a pivotal player in the global energy market, underpinned by its vast oil reserves and significant production capabilities. With confirmed oil reserves ranking fifth globally at 145 billion barrels, Iraq's influence on global energy dynamics is substantial.

Major Oil Reserves and Production

Iraq is a key member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), ranking second in crude oil production within the organization, only behind Saudi Arabia. On a global scale, Iraq stands sixth in the total production of petroleum liquids. The country's major oil fields are primarily located in regions such as Basra, Diyala, and Kirkuk, which are critical hubs for its oil extraction and export activities.

Economic Dependency on Oil Exports

The Iraqi economy is heavily reliant on oil exports, which constitute about 95% of its revenue. In 2022, Iraq's oil export revenue soared to $131 billion, up from $92 billion in the previous year. This significant increase underscores the centrality of oil to Iraq's economic health and its role in the global energy market.

Political and Legislative Landscape

Despite forming a consensus government after the parliamentary elections in 2021, Iraq faces challenges in the timely enactment of legislation and budget approvals. These delays can hinder major energy projects and impact the country's ability to fully leverage its oil resources for economic growth and stability.

Infrastructure and Development Needs

To maximize its energy potential, Iraq must address ongoing challenges in budget approvals and infrastructure development. Enhancing infrastructure is crucial for boosting production capacity and ensuring efficient export operations. Investments in infrastructure will also help Iraq better handle the technical and logistical demands of its vast oil industry.

Global Energy Influence

Iraq's substantial oil reserves, estimated at over 140 billion barrels, position it as a key global energy player. Its ability to influence global oil prices and supply dynamics is significant, given its production capacity and export volume. As the world's energy landscape continues to evolve, Iraq's role remains crucial in maintaining the balance and stability of global oil markets.

In conclusion, Iraq's vast oil reserves and its significant role in OPEC highlight its importance in the global energy market. However, to fully harness its potential, Iraq must address legislative delays and infrastructure challenges. By overcoming these obstacles, Iraq can ensure sustained economic growth and continue to be a major force in the global energy sector.


  • U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
  • BP Statistical Review of World Energy