The Oil for Development programme in Iraq

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

The first five-year OfD programme between Iraq and Norway ended in 2009. The cooperation with Iraq resumed in 2013 and the current programme runs until the end of 2017.


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.

While Iraq’s crude oil production has increased significantly in the last couple of years, the country still faces significant challenges related to the management of these resources.

The first five-year cooperation programme between Iraq and Norway ended in 2009. This programme focused particularly on competence building and technical support in relation to contract negotiations, enhanced oil recovery, fiscal metering and data management.

The cooperation with Iraq resumed in 2013 when the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy entered into a three-year Institutional Cooperation Contract.

The new programme focuses on negotiation, policy, legal issues, fiscal metering, geosciences training and economics, as well Environmental Impact Assessments, HSE, local content and data management.

Key achievements 2016

Enhanced legal and regulatory framework:

  • Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) were prepared under the supervision of the Norwegian Environment Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Representatives from the Iraqi Ministries of Oil and Environment also received capacity training on how to review, approve, and monitor EIAs.

Increased institutional capacity:

  • The Ministry of Oil strengthened its capacity to address challenges posed by associated gas flaring through the reduced gas flaring project. The project included a review of the current situation and barriers to flare reduction investments, an analysis of gas utilisation options, and a review of potential sources of financing for flare reduction projects.

  • The Ministry of Oil visited relevant Norwegian institutions to learn how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are utilized in Norway. Topics included technological aspects of GIS, cooperation between institutions, and the impact of GIS on petroleum development. Increased use of GIS will enhance the Ministry’s capacity for planning and presenting data to the public.

Increased transparency and accountability:

  • A group of parliamentarians enhanced their knowledge of the oil and gas sector through a study-trip to Norway.
Published 02.07.2014
Last updated 05.10.2017