U.S. Embassy Baghdad
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
The Governments of the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America reaffirmed their commitment to joint cooperation in the areas of oil production and export, natural gas, electricity resiliency and reliability, clean energy, and critical energy infrastructure protection during the second meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on Energy, held February 5, 2014 in Baghdad.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Dr. Hussain Al Shahristani chaired the meeting with U.S. co-Chairs Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the State Department Carlos Pascual.
During today’s meeting, both sides reiterated the significance of Iraq’s future energy sector development and its contribution to greater economic prosperity, as well as the valuable role that Iraq plays in providing a steady flow of petroleum resources to global markets. Both sides lauded Iraq’s offshore installation of the central metering manifold platform for the new single point moorings (SPMs) and recognized Iraq’s bold plans to increase further its oil production and exports.
The delegations discussed Iraq’s Integrated National Energy Strategy; opportunities to strengthen production and export infrastructure in order to meet Iraq’s mid- and long-range export goals; Iraqi and U.S. lessons learned in the field of natural gas capture and distribution; and best practices from the United States and the region.
The two sides discussed the importance of improving the protection of critical energy infrastructure for oil, natural gas, and electricity installations. To this end, Iraq and the United States are embarking on a significant new area of cooperation by having experts from the U.S. Departments of Energy and State work with Iraq to develop approaches to protect Iraq’s energy infrastructure from terrorist attack or natural disaster.
The two governments discussed the importance of supporting Iraq’s efforts to harness its vast natural gas resources. They reviewed the status of Iraq’s work to capture natural gas that is currently flared and redirect it to meet Iraq’s growing energy demand. We have agreed to form a new working group under the JCC focused on combining mobile power generation technologies with reduction in gas flaring. We hope to engage both government and industrial actors in bringing forward rapid, deployable solutions. The delegations also discussed continued efforts to build Iraqi Government capacity to oversee and regulate the natural gas sector, including through programs under the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program. The U.S. delegation discussed the current development of shale gas resources and its impact on international markets.
For its part, the United States expressed its continued support of Iraq’s energy sector, committing to workshops and technical assistance that built upon the success of earlier programs. One such earlier program provided 230 key engineers and managers in Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity on best practices in energy security, operations, maintenance, and safety. We have agreed to form a new working group under the JCC on the roles energy efficiency and renewable energy can play in meeting electricity needs, including energy efficient standards and business models for renewable energy.
The JCC on Energy was established by the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement between Iraq and the United States to strengthen the two nations’ strategic partnership on a variety of initiatives. The United States hosted the first JCC on Energy in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2012 at the Department of Energy. The November 1, 2013 meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Vice President Joseph Biden, reaffirmed the value of the JCC on Energy. The Republic of Iraq and the United States committed to convening the next JCC on Energy in Washington, D.C., at a date to be agreed.
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