The governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq reaffirmed their commitment to joint cooperation in the areas of oil production and export, natural gas, electricity, and critical energy infrastructure protection during the inaugural meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) on Energy on April 23, 2012.
This meeting, held at the U.S. Department of Energy, was co-chaired by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain Al Shahristani and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Ambassador Carlos Pascual. The JCC on Energy was established by the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement between Iraq and the United States to strengthen the countries’ strategic partnership on a variety of initiatives.
During the meeting, both sides expressed interest in making efforts to assure oil markets meet producers’ and consumers’ needs for worldwide economic growth, and recognized the bold steps Iraq has taken to increase its oil production and export. The U.S. Government supports these major steps forward.
The United States expressed its continued commitment to support Iraq’s electricity sector through training in operations and maintenance, the provision of spare parts, and the development of the Iraq Electricity Master Plans and the assistance to implement it. The United States described its significant contributions to Iraq’s energy sector since 2003, including $4.6 billion to the power sector and $2.1 billion to the oil sector.
The delegations also discussed the progress of the ongoing energy capacity building programs conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The United States outlined the potentially greater role for the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to expand financing for energy trade and investments.
Deputy Prime Minister Shahristani and Deputy Secretary Poneman will travel together to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories on April 24, 2012 where they will see demonstrations of advanced technology in the areas of critical infrastructure protection for oil facilities, advanced civilian nuclear technology and renewable energy technology.
The United States and the Republic of Iraq committed to convene the Energy JCC quarterly over the coming year.