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Iraq: Kurdistan and oil exportation plans

by admin ~ May 31st, 2012

Control over oil in the autonomous region of Kurdistan has been a push-and pull between the central government of Iraq and the autonomous government of the region. It has resulted to the freezing of oil exports from the region because the autonomous government accuses the central government of not honoring the respectful dues derived from the oil exports.
The autonomous region’s government has took a step further to challenge the central authorities by declaring that it will soon start the exportation of its crude oil production to neighboring Turkey in as early as August next year. It stated that the first phase of the pipeline project will be achieved in October next year and it will be carrying crude oil from the Taq Taq oilfield. The next phase after that will be linked to Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. There are also plans to link a Turkish refinery in the port of Ceyhan by 2014 to other oilfields through a different pipeline.
Iraq’s oil supply has been rising since the beginning of the year. The ever rising oil prices have also been of importance to its projects because the country is striving to rebuild its oil and energy sector.

Iraq auctions 12 new oil, gas blocks

by admin ~ May 30th, 2012

Iraq started its fourth energy bidding round to allow international companies to compete for exploration deals on 12 new oil and gas areas, as the OPEC-member country seeks to expand its crude reserves and become a major gas exporter.

The auction was the latest step in Iraq’s program to rapidly build up its energy sector after years of war and sanctions, but tough service contract terms could crimp investor interest in the latest bidding round.

In early Wednesday bidding, no companies put up offers for Block 6 between Anbar and Najaf provinces or Block 2, an 8,000 square km gas area along the Syrian border.

A consortium led by Kuwait Energy and partners Turkey’s TPAO and Dubai-based Dragon Oil secured a deal to explore Block 9, a mainly oil area in southern Basra province. They offered a remuneration fee of $6.24 per barrel of oil equivalent.

Bidding is decided according to the remuneration fees offered, with the lowest bids winning blocks. Industry sources had said companies would have to offer $10 to $20 a barrel for the service fee to compensate for risks involved.

Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and the world’s tenth-largest gas reserves, and the country still offers potentially rich unexplored territories after its industry was left under-developed for years.

But companies must weigh service contract terms and the risks from Iraq’s ongoing political instability against the potential gas and crude developments on offer, mostly in remote parts of western and central Iraq.

Oil explorers that win blocks will immediately be able to extract gas discovered at their sites, but the Iraqi government has retained the option to pay compensation to companies to keep crude in the ground to help boost its reserves.

Investors may shy away from blocks in remoter areas due to concerns over security in a country where Sunni Islamists tied to al Qaeda are still active despite a drop in the violence and bombings at the height of Iraq’s war.

Another important hurdle is the failure of Iraq’s parliament to pass a long-delayed national oil and gas law that could provide the stronger framework for protecting oil investments.

Baghdad’s central government and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in the north are also locked in a dispute for control over oil in areas which both authorities claim. Baghdad rejects deals signed by the Kurdish region as illegal.

Four ‘Forgotten’ Power Generators Found in Iraqi Port

by admin ~ May 29th, 2012

awad al-Bazouni, an MP for the National Alliance, has told Aswat al-Iraq that four power generators were found forgotten in storage at the Khor al Zubair port.

After receiving information about them, Bazouni found them during a tour of the port.

Following inspection, it was found that three of the generators entered Iraq in 2005 but were neglected, leading to damage.

He added that one of the generators, with a capacity of 1500 megawatts, was supposed to be installed in the Shatt al-Arab area; the second, a 1250 megawatts unit, was destined for Rumaila; while a third unit of 500 megawatts should have been sent to Najibiya.

The fourth power thermal station was imported in 1988 to be sent to Mosul, which “remained there without convincing reason”.

Bazouni commented that “if they were in operation since that time, the electricity crisis in the province could have been solved”.

Microsoft appoints first authorized distributor for Iraq

by admin ~ May 28th, 2012

Microsoft Corp. said Monday it has appointed a local company to distribute its products in Iraq, calling the move a sign of progress for the country.

Microsoft’s manager of Business Development for Emerging Markets, Rajai S. El-Khadem, said the software giant had chosen the Baghdad-based Legend Lands Co. as its Iraqi partner.

This is a big step for Microsoft and for Iraq,” said El-Khadem. “As of today Microsoft will be officially and locally represented in Iraq … to provide Microsoft licenses, support and services for our clients and resellers.”

El-Khadem called the Iraqi market a “promising and aggressive” one that “needs to be served at the same level as all the other countries.” But he also called on the Iraqi government to approve laws that protect intellectual property rights and usage of software.

Decades of war and U.N. sanctions have created sweeping technology shortages in Iraq, and the government’s limited supervision over the sector has overwhelmed the market with illegal software products.

The CEO of Legend Lands Co., Ahmed Izzedien, said his company will provide a wide range of software products that address the needs of the government, public and private sector and home users. The company will also provide support and services through a network of resellers nationwide.

“Things have changed in Iraq in a way that needs to address the major needs such as updating software used by the government … and to move in parallel with economic development, mainly in the oil sector,” he said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Iraq Discovers First Offshore Oilfield

by admin ~ May 24th, 2012

An Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman announced on Wedesday that an oilfield has been discovered in Iraqi territorial water.

Assim Jihad told Aswat al-Iraq that it expects to offer the site in the coming oil rounds.

This is Iraq’s first offshore oilfield.

The site was numbered “18?, but not exploited due to problems with mines, which made it impossible to work in, Jihad added

Iraq Ready to Supply Brazil with Crude

by admin ~ May 23rd, 2012

AKnews reports that Iraq is ready to supply crude oil to Brazil following the increase in oil production in recent months.

Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Hussein al-Shahristani, met with the a Brazilian delegation to discuss ways to improve political and economic relations between the two countries, especially in the energy sector.

The Brazillian side expressed the desire to work in Iraq in all fields to enhance the cooperation between the two countries.

Iraq Buys US Drones to Protect Oil Platforms

by admin ~ May 22nd, 2012

Iraq is buying unmanned drones from the United States to help protect its southern oil platforms, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Monday.

An official from the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, which is part of the U.S. embassy, declined to give the model or number of drones that are part of the contract, but Iraqi security officials confirmed plans to use drones to protect oil infrastructure.

“According to the energy police plans, we intend to use the drones by the end of this year,” head of the energy protection force, Major General Hamid Ibrahim, told Reuters. “We are in the process of training engineers.”

Iraq to Increase Crude Exports for 2nd Half of May

by admin ~ May 21st, 2012

Bloomberg reports that Iraq will increase its exports of Basrah Light crude from the Persian Gulf by 20 percent in the second half of May, compared to a month earlier.

According to the loading program, Iraq will ship 26 cargoes from the al-Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) (pictured), seven more than a month earlier. Exports will total 40.43 million barrels, or 2.53 million bpd, compared with 2.1 million bpd in the second half of April.

There are planned to be:

  • 15 consignments of 2 million barrels each;
  • nine 1 million-barrel lots; and,
  • two shipments of 715,000 barrels.

Iraq’s second offshore mooring facility, which can handle 900,000 bpd, started operation on 20th April.

A third mooring facility will be ready “within a few months” and would be used if exports increase, Dhia Jaafar, director general of South Oil Company, said on 20th April.

Zhenhua Backs Out of Iraq Venture; PPL to Proceed Alone

by admin ~ May 18th, 2012

The Chinese firm Zhenhua has decided not to partner with Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) in a bid for an exploration block in Iraq due to security issues, the Express Tribune reports.

“The News”, however, reports that Zhenhua walked out on the deal because a re-drawing of the boundary of the Bloc-9 meant “the opportunity became sub-economical for Zhenhua”.

Despite the development, Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved PPL’s plan to proceed with the project.

The company’s had been expected to make an investment of $200 million if their bid would have been accepted. PPL would have had 49% stake and Zhenhua 51% share, with the right to increase its share up to 70%.

“PPL is still in favour of investing in Iraq despite its partner walking away,” officials said.

Tehran, Baghdad to Resume Talks on Joint Oil Projects

by admin ~ May 17th, 2012

Iran and Iraq will start new round of talks in Tehran on 26th May on issues such as developing the Sohrab joint oilfield and establishing a joint oil company, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reports.

The managing director of the National Iranian Central Oilfields Company, Mehdi Fakour, said that eight drilling rigs are currently in operation in oilfields that are shared with Iraq, and that the output is “satisfactory”.

Iran reportedly produces 68,000 barrels per day of crude oil from four oilfields associated with Iraq: Naftshahr, Paydar Gharb, Dehloran and Aban.

Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in August 2011 that the Iranian government should consider plans for the development of joint oilfields in the border areas with Iraq.

By the end of the fifth development plan (2015), the country’s oil production must increase to 5.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and this should happen from the country’s joint fields,” the ISNA News Agency quoted Qasemi as saying.

In January, Iran and Iraq announced that the two countries have reached an agreement to develop joint oil fields in border areas to increase their crude output.

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