The heavy centralization by which the Iraqi oil sector used to be run meant that it was not necessary to accurately determine the geographic locations of oil and gas fields in relation to the provinces’ administrative borders. However, now that the new Constitution has been ratified, it has become necessary to determine these locations due to their relevance to exploration and production operations management. The new Constitution has indeed transferred managerial responsibility for new oil operations to the regions and provinces, as well as allowing the latter to take part in the production operations management of current fields.




Prior to 1956, the eastern part of the Baghdad Governorate was separated from Baghdad City by an earth barrier called the Nadhim Pasha Dam, established in 1908 to protect the city from the annual floods of the Tigris River. Consequently, the area was underpopulated apart from isolated settlements, where peasants from southern Iraq built shanty houses to live and find work in the city. In 1956, however, the annual floods were permanently prevented by the construction of the Tharthar Dam, 100 km north-west of Baghdad, and the area east of the original city became available for building. 



The Rumaila oil field is a super-giant oil field[1] located in southern Iraq, approximately 20 mi (32 km) from the Kuwaiti border.[2] Discovered in 1953 by the Basrah Petroleum Company (BPC), an associate company of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC),[3][4][5] the field is estimated to contain 17 billion barrels, which accounts for 12% of Iraq's oil reserves estimated at 143.1 billion barrels.[6][7][8] Rumaila is said to be the largest oilfield ever discovered in Iraq[9] and is considered the third largest oil field in the world.[10]

Under Abd al-Karim Qasim, the oilfield was confiscated by the Iraqi government by Public Law No. 80 of 11 December 1961.[11] Since then, this massive oil field has remained under Iraqi control. The assets and rights of IPC were nationalised by Saddam Hussein in 1972, and those of BPC in 1975.[12] The dispute betwen Iraq and Kuwait over alleged slant-drilling in the field was one of reasons for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.[13][14]





There are more than 100 oil and gas fields in Iraq, containing more than 137 billion barrels of recoverable oil and more than 106 TCF of recoverable gas. Of this large resource, about 25 billion barrels of oil and 11 TCF of gas have been produced as of 2014.

Nearly all of the oil and gas occurs in fields located within the Mesopotamian foredeep, Gotnia Basin, and Zagros foldbelt. Minor discoveries and shows have been found on the Arabian platform along the western flank of the Mesopotamian foredeep. There is one gas discovery (Akkas field) on the Arabian platform in western Iraq.

Ninety-eight percent of the oil and gas occurs in reservoirs of Cenozoic and Cretaceous age. The largest reserves occur in: 1) carbonate rocks of the Kirkuk Group (Lower Miocene–Oligocene), in fields within the Zagros foldbelt of northeastern Iraq, the largest being Kirkuk field; 2) carbonate rocks of the Mishrif Formation (Turonian–Cenomanian), in fields within the Mesopotamian foredeep and Zagros foldbelt in southern and central Iraq, including Rumaila, West Qurna, Majnoon, Halfayah, Zubair, and Buzurgan fields; and 3) siliciclastic rocks of the Zubair Formation (Albian–Barremian), in fields within the Mesopotamian foredeep and Zagros foldbelt in southern and central Iraq, including East Baghdad, Rumaila, West Qurna, and Zubair fields. Large reserves also occur in carbonate rocks of the Upper Cretaceous above the Mishrif Formation and in the Lower Cretaceous below the Zubair Formation. Smaller reserves occur in other Neogene and Paleogene carbonates and siliciclastics, in Jurassic and Triassic carbonates, and in Ordovician siliciclastics.



The relationship between Shell and the Majnoon Oilfield dates from late 2009. Now there are more than 3,000 people working to rebuild the facility in Iraq.There is a flag that flies every day (during the hottest period of the year) over Shell’s Central Processing Facility under assembly at the Majnoon oil field in south-eastern Iraq. The colour can change every day, for it acts like a warning signal on an Atlantic beach. A blue flag means that the temperature is below 28 degrees Celsius, while an orange one signifies that it is lower than 38 degrees. A red flag warns that things are hotting up, between 38 and 50 degrees, and everybody is made to take a break every 20 minutes and drink some water. When the mercury hits 50 degrees or more it is time for the construction workers to lay down their tools and seek some shade and a purple flag is flown. “We had a month in the summer, and it was Ramadan too, when the purple flag was flying,” says Philip Hayhurst, Petrofac’s construction manager who is in charge of making sure that the plant is put together on time, and in the right order.