Iraq short on oil workforce

Sept. 12, 2013 at 8:32 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A lack of a skilled labor force in Iraq may be an inhibiting factor in long-term oil development plans, employment scouts said.

The International Energy Agency projects Iraqi oil production will reach 6.1 million barrels per day by 2010 and 8.3 million bpd by 2035.

Darren Grainger, director of Middle East markets for NES Global Talent, told energy reporting website Rigzone there was a high demand for skilled workers.

"We are also seeing an increased demand from our clients for suitably skilled local workers, especially in Iraq," he was quoted as saying Wednesday. "The talent pool is deepening within the Middle East and clients are keen to tap in to that."

The report said there's a lack of balance, however, in terms of labor supply and demand. The region needs highly-skilled and highly-educated workers but those are in short supply.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in its monthly market report said Iraqi oil production stood at approximately 3.1 million barrels per day in August, up 17 percent from the average for 2011.

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