The International Exhibition and Conference for Iraq Petroleum Projects and Licensing Tours was attended by Chinese companies, which are ready to join the country in order to further develop its rich resources in the sector. The four-day event concluded on Wednesday in Baghdad.
Chen Xinrong, general manager of PetroChina International Company Ltd. (Middle East), told Xinhua agency that “by participating in the exhibition, PetroChina can promote its subsidiaries to provide better services to Iraq and contribute to the development of oil and gas in Iraq. Iraqi sector.”
Iraq’s economy is overwhelmingly dominated by the oil sector. According to a general development report prepared by the World Bank, during the period 2012 to 2022, oil revenues accounted for more than 99% of Iraq’s exports, 85% of the government budget and 42% of its gross domestic product.
Chinese companies have established a strong foothold in Iraq’s war-ravaged infrastructure and energy projects, thanks to a strategic partnership established in 2015 and cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), which entered the Middle East market more than ten years ago, has become the main contractor for the giant oil field in the Maysan province in southern Iraq.
Xie Wensheng, CNOOC’s chief representative for the Middle East region, said the company has established a joint institution with Iraq’s state-owned Missan Oil Company, with 85% of its employees being Iraqis. Xie mentioned that CNOOC, whose operational network has expanded to more than 10 countries in the Middle East, is seeking more business partners and opportunities at the exhibition.
ZhenHua Oil, another Chinese oil trading company, entered the Iraqi market in 2008 and currently operates two projects, one in the al-Ahdab oil field and the other in the East Baghdad field. Zhang Wei, the company’s chief financial officer, considered the exhibition a platform to “showcase the strength and achievements of his company, as well as further boost the development of Chinese representatives in Iraq”.