Iraqi Ministry of Oil

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The Oil Ministry is the key institution in Iraq's hydrocarbons sector.[1] The Oil Minister is the functional head of the Iraqi industry, with several undersecretaries reporting directly to him. Under the umbrella of the Ministry are state-run companies which are functionally defined, each led by a Director General and other senior staff.[2]

The dissolution of the Iraq National Oil Company in 1987 led to the creation of 15 state ­owned oil companies directly under the Ministry of Oil. By 2013 this number had grown to 23 and the operating entities were as follows, each fulfilling a different role: Petroleum Research & Development Center (PRDC); Baiji Oil Training Institute (BaiOTI); Basrah Oil Training Institute (BasOIT); Kirkuk Oil Training Institute (KOTI); Baghdad Oil Training Institute (BOTI); Heavy Engineering Equipments (HEESCO); South Refineries Company (SRC); Midland Refineries Company (MRC); North Refineries Company (NRC); Gas Filling Company (GFC); South Gas Company (SGC); North Gas Company (NGC); Maysan Oil Company (MOC); South Oil Company (SOC); Midland Oil Company (MDOC); North Oil Company (NOC); Iraq Drilling Company (IDC); Oil Products Redistribution Company (OPDC); State Organisation for Marketing of Oil (SOMO); Oil Pipelines Company (OPC); Iraqi Oil Tanker Company (IOTC); Oil Exploration Company (OEC); State Company of Oil Project (SCOP).[3]

As of 2007 the Ministry had a total of 66,500 employees in total across all of its separate entities.[4] On 21 December 2010 Abdul Karim al-Luaibi became Oil Minister after the incumbent Hussein al-Shahristani moved posts to become Deputy Prime Minister for Energy.[5]


The Ministry is responsible for the day-to-day management of the oil industry, including the overall implementation of oil policy, encouraging investments, coordination between the state-owned oil companies and training centers, and operation of infrastructure.[6] It is also responsible for publishing information on revenue generation, which includes monthly data on production and exports.[7] Negotiation of oil contracts is carried out through the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO).[8]

The Ministry also receives and considers applications for the establishment of crude oil refineries after a governorate or province has given preliminary approval for their construction.[9] And, inasmuch as it is the federal government's ministry in charge of oil and gas, it establishes guidelines for the measurement of hydrocarbon products.[10]

By means of the Oil Products Distribution Company (OPDC), the ministry provides and delivers the petroleum products needed for civilian, commercial and military activities, as well as supplementing electricity needs in order to establish permanent power supplies.[11] Additionally it commands its own police force, which is tasked with the security of the country's oil infrastructure, preventing the smuggling of crude and fuel, and even the location and defusion of land mines.[12]


  1. 'Iraq Energy Outlook IEA, 9 October 2012.
  2. 'Iraq's Oil Sector: Issues and Opportunities James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy, December 2006.
  3. 'Ministry Establishments Iraqi Ministry of Oil, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  4. 'Case Study on Iraq’s Oil Industry Baker Institute, March 2007.
  5. 'Iraqi parliament approves new government BBC, 21 December 2010.
  6. The Role of Government in Oil and Gas" National Investment Commission, retrieved 23 November 2011.
  7. Domestic Consumption Ministry of Oil website Retrieved 23 November 2011
  8. SOMO is sole marketer of Ira oil - ministry Zawya, 10 May 2009.
  9. "Instructions No. (1) of 2009" Iraqi Ministry of Oil, retrieved 18 November 2011.
  10. "Iraqi national code for measurements of hydrocarbon fluids" IAMB Iraq, retrieved 23 November 2011.
  11. "Ministry Services" Ministry of Oil website Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  12. "Twelve Reasons Why Iraq Will Not Be a Major Oil Exporter, Part One" We Meant Well, 6 May 2011.