State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO)

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Role

Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) is an important actor in the Iraqi oil sector, deemed by the federal government to be the sole body invested with the authority to organise the sale and export of Iraqi oil. The proceeds of oil exported and marketed by SOMO go to the central government in Baghdad.[1]

SOMO is also responsible for covering local consumption needs by purchasing and importing oil products such as gasoline, gasoil, kerosene and liquid petroleum gas.[2]

SOMO's director as of 2012 was Falah Al-Amri,[3] who also served as Iraq's representative to OPEC.[4]

History

After the nationalisation of Iraqi petroleum resources in June 1972, the Iraqi government formed the General Directorate for Oil Marketing (GDOM) to manage and run all marketing operations related to crude oil and its refined products. The transformation of the petroleum sector led to the merger of Iraq's Oil Tankers Company with the GDOM, after which the Directorate became known as the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO). In 1998, SOMO became a public company registered at the Ministry of Trade under the name "Oil Marketing Company". Despite its name change, the abbreviation SOMO was preserved. SOMO's new identity as a publicly registered company gave it more flexibility and liberty to market Iraqi crude oil and refined products in surplus of Iraq's domestic needs, according to Iraq Energy Expo. Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, increase in domestic demand for some oil products led SOMO to gain authorisation to import oil products for domestic consumption.[5]

External Links

Official Website: www.somooil.gov.iq

References

  1. SOMO is sole marketer of Iraq oil - ministry Zawya, 10 May 2009
  2. About Us, SOMO, retrieved 11 January 2012.
  3. Iraq Increases December Oil Exports by 1.9% From Month Earlier Bloomberg, 18 December 2011.
  4. Iraq facts and figures OPEC Iraq, retrieved 8 January 2013.
  5. Oil Marketing Company (SOMO), Iraq Energy Expo, retrieved 11 January 2012.