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Iraq to Raise Gulf Crude Exports by 14% in 1H-July

by admin ~ June 28th, 2012

Bloomberg reports that Iraq will increase its daily exports of Basrah Light crude from the Persian Gulf by 14 percent in the first half of July, compared with shipments in the previous two weeks.

Eighteen cargoes are scheduled to be shipped from the al-Basrah Oil Terminal (pictured), unchanged from the second half of this month, according to a loading program obtained by the news agency.

Exports will total 32.8 million barrels, or 2.19 million bpd, compared with 1.91 million bpd two weeks earlier.

The program for the first half of July comprises 13 consignments of 2 million barrels each, two 1.9 million-barrel lots and three 1 million-barrel shipments.

Shell Presses Ahead with Majnoon Development

by admin ~ June 27th, 2012

At CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London last week, the head of Shell‘s operations in Iraq gave a detailed account of progress at the Majnoon oilfield, in which Shell has a 45% stake.

Mr Hans Nijkamp said that Shell Iraq Petroleum Development manages all contracts on behalf of the Majnoon venture, and that there are currently 2,200 staff and contractors at the site, with 1,850 of those being local Iraqis.

A drilling programme, targeting new 15-20 wells, is ongoing, while the construction of a jetty on the Shatt al-Arab has been completed, minimising the road transportation needed for production equipment.

In addition to the Majnoon Pioneer Camp, 10 more camps are being built for contractors.

Several Social Investment projects (SI) have also been delivered in the areas of education, health and capacity building.

Shell’s other partners in the venture are Petronas (30% share) and the Missan Oil Company, representing the Iraqi State (25% share).

Iraq’s Deputy PM Confirms Exxon Still Operating West Qurna

by admin ~ June 26th, 2012

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister says ExxonMobil is still engaged with the West Qurna-1 oil-field in the south of the country.

At CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London last week, Dr Rowsch N Shaways told Padraig O’Hannelly for Iraq Business News :

To my knowledge, Exxon is still operating in the South, with current contracts. I’m not the Minister for Oil and I’m not directly in charge of the sector, but as an Iraqi politician, my objective is that Iraq’s oil is to serve all Iraqis.

We have to increase  the revenue generated from oil, so that the whole Iraqi population can benefit … We should give a chance to all companies to operate in Iraq, in particular to those companies that have the capacity and the know-how to operate in Iraq.

Call for More Attractive Terms for Iraqi Exploration Licences

by admin ~ June 25th, 2012

Lord Howell of Guildford, UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, speaking at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London, said the terms of offer for the next round of energy licences must be considerably better than those for the fourth round which concluded at the end of May.

The results of the fourth oil and gas bidding round last month were, frankly, disappointing, with only three of twelve blocks awarded. A combination of factors including unattractive contract terms and geologically riskier acreage led to a luke-warm response.

Some analysts estimate that the blocks on offer need a $10 to $20 dollars per barrel fee to be viable, up to ten times the $2 dollars per barrel costs bravely accepted by BP for development in the Rumaila oilfield in the first round.

Iraq picks Petrofac for $95m SPM Contract

by admin ~ June 22nd, 2012

Reuters reports that Petrofac has won a $95 million contract to carry out maintenance work for Iraq’s new offshore terminals and sub-sea pipelines at the Gulf.

The contract involves maintenance work to ensure there are no leakages in the pipelines or any faults at the two new single point mooring (SPM) terminals that may delay the loading of crude.

Iraq’s South Oil Company awarded the deal to Petrofac ahead of the also shortlisted Saipem of Italy and Australia’s Leighton Holdings.

“Petrofac’s offer was picked for the service contract and the one year extendable contract has been referred to the oil minister for final approval,” the oil official, who declined to be named, said.

Two of Iraq’s four new SPM terminals, built by Leighton, have already started operation and have boosted oil exports significantly.

Greek and Turkish Firms Head-to-Head for Iraqi Power Contract

by admin ~ June 21st, 2012

Greek power plant builder Metka SA, and Turkey’s Gama Holding AS, are reportedly the remaining two companies on the shortlist to build a new power station in Iraq, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing Naftemporiki.

The 500 MW plant has an estimated budget of $400 million.

In recent weeks both of these companies, along with several others, were reported to be in the running to build a $1 billion, 1,500 MW, power plant in western Iraq.



Iraqi Oil Targets Open to Negotiation

by admin ~ June 20th, 2012

raq’s oil production targets may be revisited, as the country refines its plans to ramp up output.

Thamir Ghadhban, Chairman of the Advisory Commission to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told CWC’s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London that production will hit 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd) at the end of 2012, 3.9 million bpd by the end of next year, and 4.5 million bpd by the end of 2014.  He added that he does not see any obstacles to reaching that 4.5 million figure.

While 12 million bpd has long been spoken of as the ultimate goal, Mr Ghadhban suggested a ‘high’ scenario of 13 million bpd, a mid-range of 9.5 million, and an absolute minimum requirement of 6 million.

Citing a realistic target of 9 million bpd by the end of the decade, he said it is too early to commit to high targets like 13 million, and said contracts with the major oil companies will need to be adjusted, pending agreement by the council of ministers.

Mr Ghadhban, who is in the running to be the next Secretary General of OPEC, said he does not expect problems regarding quotas. “I am of the opinion that we are not facing an imminent problem regarding Iraq taking its rightful role in OPEC“.

He said other countries in the organisation had benefited from Iraq’s lost capacity in recent decades.

Iraq’s Core Inflation Slows

by admin ~ June 19th, 2012

Trade Arabia reports that Iraq’s core inflation slowed to 6.2 per cent in May, down from 6.7 per cent in April.

The fall was due to a drop in the costs of food and housing said Mudher Kasim, deputy governor of the central bank.

In April, the country saw high annual inflation mainly due to the housing sector and to fluctuations in the exchange rate. “Core inflation” is a measure that strips out fuel prices.

ICB Grants Licences to Private Banks for more Branches

by admin ~ June 18th, 2012

The Iraqi Central Bank (ICB) said it is granting licences to “a limited number” of private banks to increase their branches in Iraq.

Deputy governor Muzher Mohammed Saleh said more than 40 banks were granted the licences.

Iraq has about 800 bank branches, and the ICB has required all banks to have at least 250 billion IQD ($215 million) in capital by the end of June.

Warka Bank, which has several branches in Iraq, was recently placed under the guardianship of the ICB following major financial problems.

Iraqi Kurdistan Needs 5,000 New Homes a Year

by admin ~ June 14th, 2012

Iraqi Kurdistan needs to spend 200 billion dinars ($172 million) a year on homebuilding, an adviser to the housing ministry, Ammar al- Najjar, told Bloomberg in an interview.

We are capable of resolving the housing crisis in the coming 10 years through building 5,000 units a year …We’ll need 200 billion dinars a year to implement this plan.

The Ministry for Housing and Reconstruction is in the process of awarding 250 billion dinars worth of contracts, al-Najjar said. Construction is expected to begin by the end of this year. The ministry awarded contracts for 1,500 homes with a value of 50 billion dinars last year, he added.

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