A few months after the formal end comes a formal beginning: the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Iraq Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) on Energy, which aims for “joint cooperation in the areas of oil production and export, natural gas, electricity, and critical energy infrastructure protection.”
The meeting, which took place on April 23, 2012, at the U.S. Department of Energy, was co-chaired by the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, and the Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. According to the joint statement released by the committee, “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.”
Regardless of what happens with Keystone XL, we’ll always have Iraq, it seems. And Iraq knows it. Says Deputy Prime Minister Shahristani, in a Special Briefing from the meeting:
“Iraq is called upon to cater for the world energy needs in the coming years, and it is expected that the world will need more energy, more hydrocarbon energy, in the coming two to three decades, and Iraq is uniquely positioned to be able to provide the world with its incremental energy needs.”
The JCC on Energy was established by the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement between Iraq and the United States.