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 was established in 2019.

Key achievements of programme activities

Increased institutional capacity

  • Staff members in the Ministry of Oil (MoO) and the Ministry of Health and Environment (MOHE) enhanced their capacity on how to develop inventory of greenhouse gases from the upstream oil and gas sector.

  • Iraq’s capacity to assess and clean up oilcontaminated sites from the ISIL conflict was strengthened through the delivery of ‘hands-on’ training in remediation techniques. ‘Learning by doing’-exercises included setting up a bioremediation demonstration trial at the North Oil Company headquarters’ in Kirkuk, which is being maintained and monitored over a six-month period.

    The Ministry of Health and Environment (MoHE) is replicating similar clean-up actions in the Salman oilfield in southern Iraq and promoting bioremediation as a pragmatic and cost-effective treatment option.

    The training workshop was delivered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and involved participants from the Ministry of Oil and MoHE, including state-owned oil companies and governorate level environmental offices. It builds on previous training events in 2018 on contaminated site assessment and environmental sampling.

    Specifically, the oil remediation course seeks to help the Ministries of Oil and Environment deal with 74 oil-polluted sites in conflict-affected areas that they identified in a rapid mapping survey carried out with technical guidance from UNEP.
Published 02.07.2014
Last updated 22.10.2020