The Oil for Development programme in Iraq

Iraq has the world’s fifth largest proven petroleum reserves, and the country is currently re-developing its oil and gas reserves after years of sanctions and wars.

The first five-year cooperation programme between Iraq and Norway ended in 2009.

The cooperation resumed in 2013 and expired in the first quarter of 2018. A new programme is currently being planned. Several activities have been carried out in parallel with the programme planning.

Key achievements of programme activities

Increased institutional capacity
  • Iraq’s capacity to assess and clean up oil-contaminated sites from the ISIL conflict was strengthened through an Oil Contaminated Site Assessment training workshop. The workshop was delivered by UN Environment and trained participants from the Ministry of Oil (MoO) and the Ministry of Health and Environment (MOHE). The core sessions of the workshop focused on preliminary site assessments and detailed sampling strategies and techniques.

  • Staff members from the MOHE and MoO enhanced their capacity on the review and approval of environmental impact assessment (EIA) for oil and gas projects through training supported by the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA). MOHE and MoO also received training in how to carry out environmental audits and a mock audit was carried out on a Norwegian installation.

  • The ‘Flare Reduction in Iraq’ project was concluded. The purpose of the project has been to assist the Ministry of Oil in Iraq in building capacity and capability to address the challenges of associated gas flaring. The project consisted of three main tasks: i) a review of the flare situation (specifically estimates of flare levels) and barriers to flare reduction investments, ii) analysis of gas utilisation options and specific investment cases, and iii) a review of potential sources of financing for flare reduction projects with the emphasis on opportunities that are likely to emerge as part of international climate policy and action to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Published 02.07.2014
Last updated 27.06.2019