The Iraqi oil industry: history and overview

Bamber, David, Saleh, Farsat and Panditharathna, Roshan (2023) The Iraqi oil industry: history and overview. European Journal of Political Science Studies, 6 (1). pp. 39-50. ISSN 2601-2766

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The first attempt at producing oil in Iraq dates to the nineteenth century, when Germany explored oil in Iraq during the period (1860-1880). A series of dramatic changes have occurred in the Iraqi oil sector, as well as the agricultural sector, because of revolutions, conflicts, wars, instability, and uncertainty. The Iran-Iraq war occurred from 1980 to 1988, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the subsequent Gulf War, UN sanctions, the 2003 war, and regional destabilisation caused by the Islamic State terrorist group, contributed to restrictions and underinvestment. Despite the positive effects, such as increased export revenues and development opportunities, resource-rich states are often plagued by the resource curse. Conflicts resulting from resource curse raise serious questions about international security. Poor oil revenue has plagued Iraq’s economy since the second half of the 20th century. Its economy was heavily influenced by the oil sector. However, oil wealth benefits the government first and last, and the Iraqi people appear to benefit little, consequently there are protest demonstrations by citizens in various Iraqi cities against widespread unemployment, poverty, corruption, deterioration of electricity supply, education, health, and the intensification of the housing crises. Due to the lack of other productive sectors such as agriculture, industry, tourism, mining, the Iraqi economy remains a rentier economy based primarily on crude oil exports. Khrushchev used Iraq’s land to threaten the West without consulting the Iraqis. Iraq still faces many threats today as Iran and the United States negotiate the Iranian nuclear issue.

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