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Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Launches Operations in Iraq

by admin ~ July 31st, 2012

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) said on Tuesday that it has launched operations in Iraq, reportedly the first UAE-based financial institution to get approval from the Iraqi Central Bank to operate there.

The lender said it would initially serve corporate and private banking customers, but will eventually offer corporate finance, investment banking and treasury products to the Iraq market.

Chief executive Tirad Al Mahmoud (pictured) said:

Iraq has been on our agenda for some time now and we believe that this is the opportune time to launch our presence there. The country is on a comeback trail, business conditions have improved considerably and it’s the right time to get in. Its vast oil reserves, a great rebuilding and infrastructure development effort and a growing population present great opportunities for growth.

Adib said it was also granted approval from Iraq’s central bank to confirm Iraq oil export letters of credit issued by multinational oil corporations, multinational commodities and oil traders and financial institutions that issue letters of credit on behalf of their clients.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/25/abu-dhabi-islamic-bank-launches-operations-in-iraq/

Eurasia Drilling Announces Acquisition in Iraq

by admin ~ July 30th, 2012

Eurasia Drilling (LSE: EDCL) has announced that it has acquired two onshore drilling rigs in Iraq, with a commitment to purchase a third.

All three rigs are currently under contract or being tendered to international customers. To ensure uninterrupted operations, EDC intends to retain the existing management and operational staff and support facilities.

Dr. Alexander Djaparidze (pictured), EDC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

This acquisition is a strategic breakthrough for EDC as it marks our first move outside of Russia and the CIS and is an important step toward our goal of becoming a truly global drilling contractor. By acquiring rigs in Iraq EDC now has a platform for growth in the expanding Iraqi and Middle Eastern oilfield services markets.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/25/eurasia-drilling-announces-acquisition-in-iraq/

New Comms Network Ensures Efficient Rail System for Iraqis

by admin ~ July 26th, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Iraqi Republic Railroad (IRR) celebrated the launch of Iraq’s new Computer-Based Train Control (CBTC) and Digital Microwave Radio Communications Network (DMRCN) during a handover ceremony on July 18.

The project was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, through the U.S. Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Government of Iraq as set out by the Strategic Framework Agreement.

The July 18 ceremony was held in Baghdad’s Central Rail Station and featured the participation of Deputy Transportation Minister Bangen Renkani, U.S. Embassy Acting Assistant Chief of Mission for Assistance Transition, Brian McFeeters, and members of the Office of Transportation Attaché (OTA) staff and IRR. The event included a presentation of the CBTC system capabilities, a tour of the CBTC Operations Center and DMRCN shelter, and a review of the CBTC system onboard an Iraqi locomotive.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. McFeeters stated that “the ownership transfer of the CBTC/DMRCN project represents the culmination of a cooperative effort that began in 2005 and now provides increased operational safety in a critical part of the Iraqi transportation system.” He added, “Iraq’s rail system provides a fundamental capability to engage not only in the domestic movement of passengers and goods, but more importantly, to promote international trade.”

An efficient and safe railway system is an essential part of American efforts to help Iraq rebuild its transportation infrastructure to move goods, people and raw materials. The new communications network establishes a state-of-the-art train control system that allows dispatchers to control rail movements throughout the IRR network, and is designed to ensure all the components of the CBTC and DMRCN are integrated properly to successfully transmit the required voice and data information.

The CBTC network consists of an onboard locomotive computer system, a centralized dispatching office, and a digital track database. The DMRCN consists of 33 microwave radio transmission towers located from Umm Qasr in the south to Rabiya at the Syrian border. The project also included a significant training component for 18 Iraqi engineers, dispatchers and others, who will now assume full operation of the system.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/24/new-comms-network-ensures-efficient-rail-system-for-iraqis/

Iraq Blacklists Chevron for Kurdish Oil Deals

by admin ~ July 25th, 2012

An Iraqi oil ministry statement on Tuesday said thatChevron, the second largest U.S. energy company, will be barred from contracts in central and southern Iraq as a result of buying stakes in two oil-exploration blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“Chevron is barred from any agreement or contract with the federal ministry of oil and its companies …unless it retreats from the contract it signed in Kurdistan region,” the oil ministry statement said.

Chevron purchased 80% stakes in the Sarta and Rovi blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan from India’s Reliance Industries; Austria’s OMV holds the remaining 20 percent.

Baghdad has already blacklisted companies that maintain deals with the Kurds, excluding them from working elsewhere in Iraq. Among those is New York-based Hess, which was barred last year from competing in the fourth energy auction. Exxon Mobil was also banned from the same auction.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/24/iraq-blacklists-chevron-for-kurdish-oil-deals/

Iran to Expand Operations at Joint Oilfields with Iraq

by admin ~ July 23rd, 2012

Iran will double the number of drilling rigs at the joint Iranian-Iraqi Azadegan and Yadavaran oilfields, according to a report from Bernama.

Quoting the managing director of the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC), Heidar Bahmani, Iran’s Mehr News Agency said there are currently four drilling rigs in operation at the two oilfields and the NIDC will commission another four in next few days.

The Azadegan field’s in-situ deposits are estimated to be around 33.2 billion barrels, of which 5.2 billion barrels are recoverable.

The Yadavaran field holds approximately 12 billion barrels of in-situ crude oil, some 12.5 trillion cubic feet of associated gases, as well as nearly 1.9 billion barrels of condensates.

A Chinese company has invested US$20 billion in the Yadavaran and Azadegan oilfields, which are projected to produce 700,000 barrels of oil per day when they reach peak capacity, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi announced on July 8.

Twelve contracts have been signed for the development of joint Iraq-Iranian oil and gas fields, and the development of the Azar and Changouleh fields and some others has already begun, he noted.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/23/iran-to-expand-operations-at-joint-oilfields-with-iraq/

New Iraqi Oil Prices for August

by admin ~ July 20th, 2012

Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) has adjusted its official selling prices for its Basra Light and Kirkuk crude grades for August.

In common with some other countries, Iraq’s oil is priced relative to regional benchmark prices:

  • For shipments to US, contracts are priced are relative to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI);
  • Shipments to Europe are priced relative the North Sea Spot BFOE; and
  • Asian shipmentas are priced relative to the Dubai-Oman crude benchmark, published by Platts, the energy-information division of McGraw-Hill.

The new prices to Europe are as follows:

  • Kirkuk crude to Europe will sell at a discount of $1.15 a barrel relative to the North Sea (Dated Brent) benchmark, compared to a discount of $2.55 previously;
  • Basra Light to Europe will sell at a discount of $3.20 a barrel to Dated Brent, compared to a discount of $4.40 previously.

And to the US:

  • Basrah Light will sell at a $1.50 discount to the U.S. benchmark, up 15 cents from last month.
  • Kirkuk will sell at a premium of 60 cents, up from a premium of 45 cents last month.

To Asia:

  • Basrah Light to Asia will sell at a premium of $0.95 above the benchmark, compared to a premium of $0.30 last month.

 

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/19/new-iraqi-oil-prices-for-august-2/

The IBBC Opens New Office in Iraq

by admin ~ July 19th, 2012

As part a major effort to boost its presence in Iraq, the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has opened its first office in Basrah.

Later this year the Council will open another in Erbil, then Baghdad.

Speaking at the opening ceremony in Basrah the IBBC’s Executive Chairman Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne said:

I am delighted we have a hub for our membership. To do business in Iraq it is absolutely vital to have a base here. In establishing ourselves here I truly hope we will encourage British and international companies to follow suit.

The IBBC’s new office is in the Mott MacDonald building in downtown Basrah and Baroness Nicholson added: “We are hugely grateful to Mott MacDonald, who are one of key members, for this fantastic opportunity to set up base camp here. ”

Thursday’s opening ceremony was attended by local VIPs including the Governor of Basrah Dr Khalaf A Khalaf, South Oil Company Director General Dhia Jaffar, members of Basrah Chamber of Commerce as well as the UK Deputy Consul Stuart Smith.

After helping cut the ribbon Dr Khalaf said:

We are extremely happy. Hopefully this heralds a new era. We want the IBBC to help us build an iconic project in Basrah the people of Basrah can be proud of.

The IBBC, which has just marked its third anniversary, has a membership of 40 international companies such as oil and gas giants, major construction firms, banking and financial companies and security consultants.

Earlier in the week Baroness Nicholson attended the inauguration ceremony of Iraq and China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) drilling operation in the Halfaya oil field in southern Maysan Province as a guest of Iraq’s Ministry of Oil.

She said:

I congratulate the Chinese on their steady growth in Iraq, but would dearly like to see more British companies in Iraq and other large international firms.

The Mott MacDonald office is in an historic area of Basrah on the banks of the Shaat al-Arab waterway where many British businesses operated from a century ago.

Mott MacDonald’s Peter Hunt said:

We are delighted to host IBBC and dignitaries at today’s event. We are hoping more British companies will follow.

The IBBC’s next office to open will be in Erbil in the premises of another member UB Holding Company

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/19/the-ibbc-opens-new-office-in-iraq/

Iraq to Begin Gas Imports from Iran by March 2014

by admin ~ July 18th, 2012

Iran’s Oil Minister, Rostam Qasemi (pictured), says his country is expected to start exporting natural gas to Iraq by the end of the next Iranian year (to start March 21, 2013), reports the Iranian news agency PressTV.

Last year, the oil ministers of Iran, Iraq and Syria agreed to construct a pipeline that transfers natural gas from Iran to Europe.

Under the deal, natural gas produced in Iran’s South Pars gas field would be pumped through Iran, Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea before reaching Europe.

But a recent report from Aswat al-Iraq claims that Iraq will itself become an exporter of gas by the end of next year.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/17/iraq-to-begin-gas-imports-from-iran-by-march-2014/

Shell to Start Pumping Gas in Southern Iraq

by admin ~ July 16th, 2012

hell plans to start pumping gas from its gas joint venture in southern Iraq in the next three weeks according to Reuters.

Initial production will be 60 million cubic feet per day, but Shell’s Iraq boss Hans Nijkamp told Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani that output would be increased by a further 40 million cubic feet a day several weeks after pumping starts.

Officials have said that the project will handle 2 billion cubic feet per day by 2017.

In November, Shell and Mitsubishi signed a $17 billion deal to capture flared gas at the country’s southern oilfields, which currently burn off more than 700 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Hans Nijkamp, Shell vice-president and head of the company’s Iraq projects, told Iraq Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani that output would be increased by a further 40 million cubic feet a day several weeks after pumping starts, a statement from Shahristani’s office said.

The gas will be used for electricity generation and in the petrochemical industry.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/13/shell-to-start-pumping-gas-in-southern-iraq/

Shell to Start Pumping Gas in Southern Iraq

by admin ~ July 13th, 2012

Shell plans to start pumping gas from its gas joint venture in southern Iraq in the next three weeks according to Reuters.

Initial production will be 60 million cubic feet per day, but Shell’s Iraq boss Hans Nijkamp told Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani that output would be increased by a further 40 million cubic feet a day several weeks after pumping starts.

Officials have said that the project will handle 2 billion cubic feet per day by 2017.

In November, Shell and Mitsubishi signed a $17 billion deal to capture flared gas at the country’s southern oilfields, which currently burn off more than 700 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Hans Nijkamp, Shell vice-president and head of the company’s Iraq projects, told Iraq Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani that output would be increased by a further 40 million cubic feet a day several weeks after pumping starts, a statement from Shahristani’s office said.

The gas will be used for electricity generation and in the petrochemical industry.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/07/13/shell-to-start-pumping-gas-in-southern-iraq/

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