Former Exxon advisor likely to succeed ousted Basra governor

18 Aug 2017   Iraq

In the wake of a scandal that led to the sudden resignation of Basra’s governor, Taha al-Tamimi has emerged as the top candidate to lead Iraq’s oil capital. Basra’s then-governor, Majid al-Nasrawi (L), walks with Iraqi President Fuad Masum in Basra on Feb. 23, 2015. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/Reuters) BASRA – Days after the sudden resignation of Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi, a former ExxonMobil advisor has emerged as the top candidate to replace him as the leader of Iraq’s oil capital. Taha al-Timimi, who managed government relations for Exxon’s Iraq operations from 2010 to 2014, has won the endorsement of Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi and his powerful political party, the newly formed Hikma movement (Arabic for “Wisdom”). This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Turkey Expands Influence In Kurdish Energy Sector

17 Aug 2017   Iraq, Turkey

Over the past 12 years, Turkish energy companies have moved into the Kurdish energy sector at great pace in line with the sector’s rapid expansion under the semi-independent government in Erbil. Energy cooperation between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Turkish government is the single greatest factor for energy companies’ involvement in the region and the commercial realization of this cooperation is no doubt the result of high-level political alignment. The recent downturn in the global petroleum market, the outbreak of war in North-Western Iraq, and internal political tensions have dampened investors’ expectations vis-à-vis energy sector viability in Iraqi Kurdistan. However, questions still remain as to which parties were the key beneficiaries of energy cooperation and how some of the most lucrative contracts were negotiated during the sector’s peak – many of these parties are primed to benefit should the industry pick up again. Humble Origins The KRG […]

With a wary eye on Iran, Saudi and Iraqi leaders draw closer

17 Aug 2017   Iraq, Saudi Arabia

It was an unusual meeting: An Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim cleric openly hostile to the United States sat in a palace sipping juice at the invitation of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the Sunni kingdom that is Washington’s main ally in the Middle East. For all the implausibility, the motivations for the July 30 gathering in Jeddah between Moqtada al-Sadr and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman run deep, and center on a shared interest in countering Iranian influence in Iraq. For Sadr, who has a large following among the poor in Baghdad and southern Iraqi cities, it was part of efforts to bolster his Arab and nationalist image ahead of elections where he faces Shi’ite […]

Kurdish oil player sees steady production course ahead

15 Aug 2017   Iraq

Gulf Keystone Petroleum sees its legacy embedded in the Kurdish north of Iraq with 40 million barrels of production. Photo courtesy Gulf Keystone Petroleum Aug. 14 (UPI) — Production from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq remains at the high-end of expectations for the year, a company said. Gulf Keystone Petroleum operates the Shaikan oil field in Kurdish northern Iraq. The company said Monday it was notified by the government of a gross payment of $15 million for oil exported from the field in April. Gulf Keystone reported total average gross production for 2016 at 34,794 barrels of oil per day, at the upper range of its guidance for the year. The company said the field is performing as expected as output should average about 36,671 barrels of oil per day for the first half of the year. The company said it expects gross production for the year […]

Saudis ready to export more oil to Iraq

12 Aug 2017   Iraq, Saudi Arabia

After discussions on compliance with an OPEC-led effort to balance the market, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said Iraq could be the target for more exports. Saudi Arabia and Iraq are the top two oil producers among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Saudi Arabia has taken a “whatever it takes” stance on a multilateral effort to balance an oversupplied market for crude oil with production declines, while Iraq is said to be the least compliant among parties to the arrangement. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country was willing to “open all fields” in order to improve bilateral relations with its ally, Iraq. “The minister said that the kingdom is keen to supply Iraq with Saudi exports of […]

Iraq’s Kurds maintain Sept. 25 as date for independence referendum, Kurdish official says

12 Aug 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s Kurds will maintain their plan to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25, despite a U.S. request to postpone it, a high-ranking Kurdish official told Reuters on Saturday. “The date is standing, Sept. 25, no change,” said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, commenting on the request communicated by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The U.S. State Department said in June it was concerned that the referendum will distract from “more urgent priorities” such as the defeat of Islamic State militants.

Rivers of crude spill from IS smuggling operation

9 Aug 2017   Iraq

Militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) are continuing to steal oil from Iraqi fields in the mountains of Salahaddin province, in a primitive operation that has created a massive oil spill covering thousands of acres. More than two years after government forces launched an effort to secure the area, IS militants still control about 75 percent of the Alas Dome – one of the three formations that compose the Hamrin field – according to an official from the state-run North Oil Company (NOC).

Iraqi oil wealth not enough for broad economic growth

7 Aug 2017   Iraq

Moody’s gives Iraq its third-lowest rating, saying political risks and lack of diversity offset is oil wealth. Photo by cherezoff/Shutterstock Aug. 4 (UPI) — Corruption and internal political rifts could be factors weighing on the economy of OPEC-member Iraq, a report from Moody’s Investors Service said. Moody’s gave Iraq a Caa rating, its third lowest. Entities rated Caa are exposed to “very high” credit risks. The report, emailed to UPI on Friday, found Iraq was well-endowed with oil wealth, but lacks economic growth opportunities from other sectors. Iraq is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and party, albeit reluctantly, to a multilateral effort to stem production in order to balance an oversupplied market for crude oil. According to secondary sources reporting to OPEC, production in June, the last full month for which data are available, was 4.5 million barrels per day, an increase of more than […]

Iraq Races To Fill The Gap Left By The Saudis

7 Aug 2017   Iraq

Iraqi oil exports topped 100 million barrels in July, but that’s still lower than the 3.93 million barrels per day rate Baghdad boasted back in May . The latest figures from the Iraqi Oil Ministry do not include exports from Kurdistan, which reach international markets via the controversial Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. SOMO, the national oil distribution company, said all the exported oil had originated from central and southern oilfields. June data shows Kirkuk exporting 677,413 barrels, or 22,000 bpd. It remains unclear whether shipments from the area, formally under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), have been affected in July. Each month, the United States accepts a larger share of Iraq’s total exports in a bid to replace the high sulphur, heavy grades of crude that Saudi Arabia used to supply. Riyadh has made lowering its exports to the U.S. a cornerstone of its strategy to lower crude […]

Iraq gets vote of confidence from IMF, bond markets

7 Aug 2017   Iraq

After ratifying an amended 2017 budget, Iraq passed a crucial IMF review and raised $1 billion in its first unsecured bond offering since 2006. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaking at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on Jan. 23, 2015 in Davos. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images) The Iraqi government has cleared two significant hurdles in its urgent quest to attract investment capital, on the heels of Parliament’s recent passage of an amended 2017 budget law. Iraq has successfully marketed a $1 billion unsecured bond, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it approved Iraq to receive an $825 million loan disbursement as part of a three-year program – flows of financing that could help establish an encouraging precedent for international investors. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a […]

Kurdistan Claims Iraq-Iran Oil Pipeline Violates U.S. Sanctions

2 Aug 2017   Iran, Iraq

The autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan has not been informed of plans by the central government that Iraq and Iran agreed to study the potential construction of a pipeline that would export crude oil from fields in Kirkuk via Iran, a senior Kurdish lawmaker told London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Tuesday, adding that the Iraq-Iran project was violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Over the weekend, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that Iraq and Iran had reached an agreement to commission a feasibility study of a crude oil pipeline that would export oil from fields in Kirkuk via Iran. “In order to raise more legal problems in Kirkuk, Baghdad and Tehran have been trying for a long time to work on a pipeline to transport crude oil from the province to the Iranian territories,” Dilshad Shaaban, deputy chairman of the Kurdistan Parliament’s natural resources committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat. […]

Oil exports steady through July

2 Aug 2017   Iraq

Slight increase in independent KRG exports offsets small reduction in federal Iraqi exports. Loading arms at the terminal for Iraqi crude exports at the Turkish port of Ceyhan. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report) Iraq’s overall oil export levels were virtually unchanged in July, as the country sold a total of about 3.801 million barrels per day (bpd), compared to 3.811 million bpd in June . The federal government exported 3.230 million bpd, according to an Oil Ministry statement * – down slightly from 3.273 million bpd in June. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Baghdad pursues Kirkuk-Iran pipeline

1 Aug 2017   Iran, Iraq

After voicing opposition to the KRG’s independence referendum, Iran contemplates a deal that could shift the balance of power in Iraq’s disputes over territory and oil. Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi answers questions from reporters at the OPEC headquarters ahead of the organization’s crucial meeting on May 25, 2017. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report) Iraq is taking steps to build an oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Iran – an initiative that could further complicate long-standing disputes between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan region over oil and territorial control. “We agreed on a joint committee to study the possibility of exporting Kirkuk’s oil to an Iranian refinery by pipeline,” said Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi, in a statement issued after Sunday meetings in Tehran with his counterpart, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may […]

Iran, Iraq moving closer to construction of Kirkuk pipeline: minister

31 Jul 2017   Iran, Iraq

Iran and Iraq are moving closer to building a pipeline that would export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Jabar al-Luaibi, according to the official news site of the Iranian oil ministry. Agreements were reached between the two ministers about an international company that will carry out a feasibility study of the project, Zanganeh was quoted as saying in the SHANA report. Iraq and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding in February to study the construction of the pipeline. Separately, Zanganeh said Iran would begin exporting gas to the Iraqi city of Basra in coming months. He said there had been some problems in receiving payments for current gas exports to Iraq via banks and that Iran was receiving cash payments.

Chinese consortium in talks over Nassiriya deal

28 Jul 2017   China, Iraq

Iraq has entered direct negotiations with a Chinese consortium for the combined Nassiriya refinery and oil field development project. PetroChina and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), which have a large and well established presence in Iraq, are offering to build a $9 billion refinery, according to two senior Iraqi oil officials involved with the negotiations. The ministry has rejected that proposal as too costly. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Kuwait To Curb Oil Exports To US—Will Iraq Step In?

27 Jul 2017   Iraq, Kuwait

In the latest round of OPEC promises, Kuwait’s state run oil company has pledged to cut “contractual sales volumes of oil for 2017” according to Bloomberg Markets . Kuwait Petroleum Corporation made the announcement just one day after fellow OPEC member UAE promised to cut its own oil exports by 10 percent starting in February, and just two days after OPEC conductor Saudi Arabia promised to curb oil exports starting in August. The renewed OPEC vows to chip in towards doing “whatever it takes” to rebalance the oil markets comes just days after Saudi Arabia chastised members for not adhering to the OPEC agreement. The United Arab Emirates, for example, failed to comply with the deal even a single month so far during the collective agreement to cut out 1.2 million barrels of oil production. Kuwait’s compliance, on the other hand, has been much higher. And now that it […]

Iraq production shoots up in June

26 Jul 2017   Iraq

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi (center) lays a cornerstone at the Halfaya oil field, in Missan province, on July 9, 2017. The ceremony marked the beginning of the third and final development phase, which is slated to raise production from 200,000 bpd to 400,000 bpd. (Source: Oil Ministry) PUBLISHER’S NOTE: To access an extensive collection of data gathered and curated by Iraq Oil Report on a monthly basis, including field-by-field production figures, please subscribe to the Iraq Oil and Financial Dataset . Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi has consistently said he intends to achieve a production capacity of 5 million bpd by the end of this year, and Iraq appears to be well on its way. Oil production jumped by nearly 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) – from 4.573 million bpd in May to 4.671 million bpd in June – according to an Iraq Oil Report analysis of production data […]

Head of Dhi Qar Oil Company replaced

21 Jul 2017   Iraq

Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi has replaced the director general of the Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC), a new state-run oil company that otherwise appears primed for realizing growth. Ali Warid Hamoud, formerly the most senior oil fields official at the Missan Oil Company (MOC), is replacing Ali Khudair al-Abodi as director general of DQOC, according to several political and oil officials in Dhi Qar. Abodi had been appointed in April.

Ajil oil field targeted in latest insurgent attacks

19 Jul 2017   Iraq

Militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) exchanged mortar fire with Iraqi forces guarding the Ajil oil field Tuesday – the latest indication that a renewed insurgency is threatening northern Iraq and its energy infrastructure. Seven guerilla-style attacks have hit various parts of Kirkuk and Diyala provinces in less than a week, all in areas that have long been under nominal Iraqi government control. At least six people have been killed, five injured, and two abducted.

Top Basra officials implicated in electricity corruption

12 Jul 2017   Iraq

Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi and Provincial Council Chairman Sabah al-Bazouni are both being investigated for possible corruption over a deal to increase electricity service. The two men are members of rival parties that jointly control the province, and they have traded accusations of wrong-doing. It remains unclear whether one – or both – might be guilty.

Norway’s DNO financed for drilling in Kurdish region of Iraq

11 Jul 2017   Iraq, Norway

Norwegian energy company DNO said there’s been a steady string of financial support for its operations in the Kurdish north of Iraq. Photo courtesy of DNO July 10 (UPI) — Steady payments from a Kurdish government preparing an independence referendum in Iraq means more capital for drilling, Norway’s DNO International said. Budgetary constraints for the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government caused contractual issues with international energy companies working in the region in the past. The Norwegian company said payments for exports and other work, however, have continued steadily for more than a year, which backed up its appraisal program in the Kurdish north. “With 16 consecutive monthly export payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government in line with contractual entitlements, we’ve ramped up drilling with three rigs currently active across the portfolio,” Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement . The company exported the bulk of what it produced from […]

Iraq opens border fields for new investment

11 Jul 2017   Iraq

Foreign oil companies are invited to propose contracts – though not production sharing – for eight oil fields on the borders with Iran and Kuwait, as well as one offshore exploration block. Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi (third from left) marks the start of the third phase of development at Missan’s Halfaya field on July 8. Earlier in the day, he presided over a ceremony marking the start of drilling at the Huwaiza oil field by the Iraqi Drilling Company. Huwaiza is one of nine assets offered July 10 to investors. (Source: Iraqi Oil Ministry’s Media Office) Iraq’s Oil Ministry has named nine oil and gas projects – both discovered fields and exploration blocks – along the borders with Iran and Kuwait available for foreign oil company investment by the end of the year. “The Oil Ministry declares the launch of exploration, development and production projects in a number […]

Iraqi provincial elections postponed until 2018

6 Jul 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s most powerful political parties have agreed to delay provincial elections and hold them along with national parliamentary elections next spring. The government has not officially announced the postponement of the provincial vote, which it had planned to hold on Sept. 16. But more than a dozen politicians – including members of Parliament and various provincial councils – confirmed that the provincial and national elections will be merged. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Iraqi oil minister silent on output, awaiting outcome of OPEC committee meeting

4 Jul 2017   Iraq, OPEC

Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Monday he would wait for the outcome of OPEC’s upcoming committee meeting before pronouncing on whether or not the group of producers needs to cut crude output more deeply or not. Al-Luaibi, who was asked if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries needed to deliver a more aggressive cut than the 1.8 million barrels per day it has agreed with 11 of its partners, was speaking at an event in London. “There is no action at the moment. It seems to be ok, in the right direction. I think prices will go up again, but let’s see the outcome of the meeting,” he told journalists. OPEC and allied non-OPEC producers agreed on May […]

The Mysterious Tanker Full Of Kurdish Oil Reappears Off Canada

1 Jul 2017   Canada, Iraq

The oil tanker loaded with crude from Kurdistan and thought to be headed to the U.S. before it turned off its tracker after exiting the Strait of Gibraltar a week ago has reappeared 300 miles off Halifax, or around 600 miles from Boston, the FT reported on Friday, citing satellite ship tracking data. The tanker Neverland was thought to be headed for the United States, further buttressing the semiautonomous region’s economic independence as Erbil prepares for a referendum on political independence later this year. An estimated 650,000 barrels of oil, mostly extracted from the Kirkuk field located in Kurdistan, departed the Mediterranean Sea on June 20th, according to Bloomberg data. The oil tanker’s route indicated a dash towards the American East coast, after a three-year hiatus—caused by a dispute with Baghdad over Washington’s true loyalties—had ended the transatlantic shipments. For more than a week no signal was detected from […]

Rosneft in talks to develop disputed oilfields with Iraqi Kurdistan

30 Jun 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russia’s state-controlled oil company is in discussions with Iraqi Kurdistan over helping it develop oilfields in disputed territory at the heart of tensions with Baghdad, in a move that pitches Moscow into one of Iraq’s oldest faultlines. Rosneft, in which the Kremlin holds a controlling stake, is examining several exploration blocks and existing fields in disputed territory under Kurdish control, according to three people familiar with the talks. They include sites near the oil city of Kirkuk and close to the Syrian border, areas formerly under Baghdad’s rule. The move is the latest suggestion that Moscow is using Rosneft to bolster a more aggressive foreign policy stance in the Middle East, as the Kremlin moves to cement new political alliances with deeper economic ties. In the past year Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin — a close ally of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president — has signed deals to buy oil from Libya and the Kurdistan Regional Government and sold a sizeable stake in the company to Qatar. The talks between Rosneft and the KRG over exploration and production were at an early stage and no concrete deal had yet been reached, the people familiar with the discussions said.

Kurdistan Denies U.S. Oil Export Claims

30 Jun 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has been assured by the buyers of its crude oil that the oil was not headed to the U.S., Kurdistan’s Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami told Reuters on Thursday, just days after the central Iraqi government said it would challenge the legal validity of Kurdish oil exports to the US in American courts in a renewed tension between Baghdad and Erbil over crude oil exports. “I have made inquiries with our crude buyers and was assured that no cargo with crude is going to the United States, ” Hawrami told Reuters, as the Kurds are trying to avoid tensions with the central government. “Oil could be stored or travelling to other places, but not the U.S., ” Hawrami told Reuters. Earlier this week, reports suggested that Kurdish oil was headed for the United States, further buttressing the semiautonomous region’s economic independence as Erbil […]

Oil Ministry targets Vitol for legal action in KRG oil dispute

30 Jun 2017   Iraq

Baghdad prepares a legal offensive as the Neverland oil tanker, filled with a controversial cargo of crude from Kurdistan, appears to be changing course toward Canada. The Neverland tanker, seen here in a promotional picture from owner Finaval. (Source: The Iraqi Oil Ministry believes Vitol is the buyer and shipper of a tanker of crude that is heading to Nova Scotia, Canada, a week after it set off from Turkey’s Ceyhan port toward the United States. Baghdad is now preparing for legal action in Canadian jurisdiction over what one senior Oil Ministry official referred to as “smuggled” oil, and against Vitol. This content is for registered users.

Iraq production steady at 4.58 million bpd

29 Jun 2017   Iraq

Iraq has steadily produced about 4.58 million barrels per day (bpd) between March and May, according to an Iraq Oil Report analysis based on data gathered from each of the country’s oil fields. That figure, which includes both federal Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan region, differs significantly from data compiled both by Iraq’s Oil Ministry and by the so-called “secondary sources” that provide the estimates used by OPEC to gauge its members’ compliance with production quotas. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

After Defeating ISIS Together, Iraqi Kurds Seek Divorce from Baghdad

29 Jun 2017   Iraq

The one thing that isn’t in doubt in Iraqi Kurdistan’s planned independence referendum is the result. It’s virtually certain that an overwhelming majority will back the creation of the world’s newest country. The real question is what practical steps toward the breakup of Iraq will be taken, and how soon after the vote, which is scheduled for Sept. 25. Will Kurdistan’s bickering politicians finally put their differences aside?…

Kurdistan Targets Saudi Market Share In The U.S.

27 Jun 2017   Iraq

Kurdish oil is headed for the United States this week, further buttressing the semiautonomous region’s economic independence as Erbil prepares for a referendum on political independence later this year. An estimated 650,000 barrels of oil, mostly extracted from the Kirkuk field located in Kurdistan, departed the Mediterranean Sea on June 20th, according to Bloomberg data. The oil tanker’s route indicated a dash towards the American East coast, after a three-year hiatus—caused by a dispute with Baghdad over Washington’s true loyalties—ended the transatlantic shipments. The bane of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) existence is its relationship with the Iraqi federal government. Erbil has argued for years that it remains under-compensated for its fossil fuel assets. Those tensions rose to the surface in 2014, when Baghdad blocked Kurdish shipments to the U.S. – the region’s coveted foreign ally. The spread of the Islamic State (ISIS) necessitated international teamwork, so the blockade […]

Baghdad may ramp up legal challenge to Kurdish crude exports

24 Jun 2017   Iraq

Prime Minister Abadi orders lawyers to block any attempt by the autonomous Kurdistan region to ship oil to the United States following reports that a tanker bearing KRG crude is en route. A tanker loads Kirkuk crude at the Turkish port of Ceyhan in May 2015. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report) Iraq’s Oil Ministry and its lawyers have been told to take legal action against all crude exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), especially the tanker Neverland that appears to be heading toward the United States. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is now reconsidering his laissez faire approach to challenging KRG exports, following news of the Neverland, which Iraqi and U.S. officials said they believe – but aren’t certain – is U.S.-bound. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial […]

Iran starts gas exports to Iraq, Iranian official tells IRNA

22 Jun 2017   Iran, Iraq

Iran has begun exporting gas to Iraq, an Iranian official told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Wednesday, after a several years of delays. The neighbors, both members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, initially signed a deal in 2013 for Iran to supply Iraqi power stations, but officials in the past blamed poor security in Iraq for hampering implementation. Exports had started at approximately 7 million cubic meters per day and would eventually reach up to 35 million cubic meters per day, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, the deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, told IRNA. Iran signed two contracts to export gas, one for the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the other for southern Iraqi city of […]

Q&A: Nasraddin Sayid Sindi, Kurdistan’s disputed territories chief

22 Jun 2017   Iraq

The chairman of the General Board of Kurdistan Areas outside the Kurdistan Region Administration discusses efforts to hold the referendum in areas outside formal KRG control, and expectations of Iraqi security forces afterward. Nasraddin Sayid Sindi, the chairman of the General Board of Kurdistan Areas outside the Kurdistan Region Administration, in his office in Erbil on June 19, 2017. (RAWAZ TAHIR/Iraq Oil Report) ERBIL – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials have never been shy about their claims to territory outside its formal borders recognized by the federal government and United Nations. The KRG has for years deployed Peshmerga and other security forces in territory that falls within the provincial boundaries of Salahaddin, Diyala, Kirkuk and Ninewa provinces. In some of these areas, the KRG provides services like fuel and electricity and other administrative functions. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a […]

Federal crude flows to two northern Iraq refineries

22 Jun 2017   Iraq

Iraq has unlocked about 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity – a relatively small amount with outsize economic and political implications. The restart of the Qayarah refinery, south of Mosul, brings a small measure of much-needed economic development to an area recently devastated by years of occupation by the self proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group.

In Hawija, IS poses ongoing threat to oil assets

21 Jun 2017   Iraq

The self-proclaimed Islamic State’s (IS) longstanding hold over Hawija, west of Kirkuk, is posing an ongoing security threat to the Bai Hassan oil field. IS militants in Hawija have been responsible for several recent attempts to bomb the field, which produces 175,000 barrel per day (bpd), according to security and oil industry officials in the greater Kirkuk area. This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Who Controls The Oil As Kurdish Independence Looms?

21 Jun 2017   Iraq

Kurdistan, the autonomous region of northern Iraq that is rich in oil resources and has proven an effective force against the spread of the Islamic State, has announced that it will hold an independence referendum on September 25 of this year, in order to determine whether the region will remain part of the Republic of Iraq or split off to form a new, independent state. Thus far, the official international support for the referendum has been minimal. On June 19, the European Union released a statement discouraging the Kurdish autonomous government from holding the referendum, joining the United Kingdom, United States, Turkey and Iraq in officially opposing the vote. But this hasn’t deterred Kurdish leaders, who say the vote will go forward no matter the resistance. The referendum will not declare an independent state, but rather determine whether Kurdistan will remain part of Iraq or eventually become independent, though […]

Iraq Dethrones Saudi Arabia As India’s No.1 Oil Supplier

16 Jun 2017   India, Iraq

Iraq has been India’s largest supplier of crude oil for the last three months, shipping data from Bloomberg has revealed . This means that OPEC’s number-two has dethroned the cartel’s leader—Saudi Arabia—which has been the top supplier in the world’s fastest-growing market in terms of oil consumption. Iraq produced almost a quarter of the oil India imported last month, or 23 percent, exporting at a daily rate of 1 million barrels. That is compared to a monthly average export market share of 19 percent for the prior four months. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, supplied 17 percent of the crude India bought in May. Iraq has consistently shown signs of an expansion strategy for its oil industry, despite its participation in the OPEC agreement for oil output reduction. While Iraq has not been fully compliant to the production caps, Saudi Arabia has been over-compliant—a fact that contributed to […]

Chicken farm explosion reveals oil smuggling racket

15 Jun 2017   Iraq

Iraqi authorities are seeking the arrest of a Badr Organization paramilitary commander for allegedly overseeing a prolonged oil smuggling operation south of Kirkuk.”The investigative judge of Kirkuk has issued a warrant for the person in charge of the Badr Organization in Taza sub-district, for his involvement in oil smuggling and the damage he has caused to the national economy,” a security official in Kirkuk said.Ahmed Askari, the head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council Energy Committee,… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial […]

Putin’s Newest Oil Play: Russia Gains Foothold In Iraqi Oil Patch

14 Jun 2017   Kurdistan, Russia

The Kurds of Iraq are going through one of their most tumultuous periods of history. On the verge of finally seeing the much-heralded independence referendum, through Erbil is doing everything it can to stay financially afloat, squash the Islamic State and expand its oil sector – and it is a pretty thin line to walk with all the events going on simultaneously. The latest developments in Kurdish-Russian relations might be indicative of even deeper cooperation and convergence between the two nations, as new petroleum deals will inevitably have political ramifications. Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, Russia’s leading state-owned oil companies, seem very intent on increasing their presence in Kurdistan, with the former walking an extra mile by venturing into Kurdistan’s infrastructure segment. The KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government)-Rosneft pre-payment deal, signed this February, has successfully laid the groundwork for future rapprochement. Under the conditions of the deal, Rosneft is reported to […]

Kurdish Oil: The Two Biggest Threats

14 Jun 2017   Iraq

As the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) seeks to restore pre-2014 levels of attractiveness to its energy sector from an investment standpoint, it grapples with several key challenges. Chief among these are its efforts to safeguard the strategic assets and operations of International Oil Companies (IOCs). Of course, it is not uncommon for businesses with operations in emerging and frontier markets to be cognisant of weak security conditions that could disrupt project viability. But that being said, the KRG has faced an uptick in violence and is prone to the advances of Sunni militant groups in particular. This analysis explores the threat presented by ISIS and the PKK, by looking at what impact they have had on the oil sector, as well as the role they may yet play. Moreover, it builds on a report released by Shadow Governance earlier this month, detailing the dynamics and drivers of the Kurdish […]

Countering ISIS: Iraq Aims To Triple Its Refining Capacity

10 Jun 2017   Iraq

Iraq is planning to triple its refining capacity as the third-largest oil exporter increases crude oil production, Bloomberg reported, based on an interview with an official in the country. World’s top 20 oil exporters according to CIA data. Iraq’s current production is 4.5 MMBOPD, way beyond in-country refining capacity Currently, Iraq is capable of processing about 500 MBOPD, far below the ~4.5 MMBOPD the country produced in 2016. Iraq exports much of this surplus crude, making it the third-largest exporter of crude oil according to Bloomberg. The small amount of refining capacity means that one of the world’s largest oil producers actually has to import gasoline and other refined products. The country spends more than $2 billion each year importing various refined products. Multiple projects planned A group of planned projects, if they are completed, would go a long way to fixing this problem. The biggest project is a […]

U.S. Begins Importing Iraqi Oil

9 Jun 2017   Iraq, USA

The United States has begun importing Iraqi oil at a rate of 1.1 million barrels per day to replace export cuts announced by Saudi Arabia late last month , new figures compiled by Bloomberg show. New data from the Department of Energy suggests that during the first week of June, Iraqi oil entered the U.S. at the quickest rate in the past five years – marking the first time the nation’s exports exceeded those from Saudi Arabia over the same time period. In late May, Riyadh announced its plans to purposely reduce exports to the United States to force a reduction in the latter’s sizeable inventories, which are preventing a greater rise in global oil prices, according to Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih. Earlier that same month , Saudi Aramco said it would cut crude supplies to China, South Korea, and South East Asia by 1 million barrels each. […]

Rising insurgency hits Diyala, despite security efforts

9 Jun 2017   Iraq

Significant uptick in past four days IS safe havens in rural and mountainous areas from Tuz Khurmatu to Naftkhana Proximity to Baghdad concerns security officials Hamrin field wellheads and electricity towers frequent targets Militants in Diyala province have launched a spate of deadly attacks targeting government and security officials, civilians, and energy infrastructure – a sign that heightened security efforts in the area have had little success at quelling a rising insurgency. In the past four days, Diyala has suffered two suicide bombings, two kidnappings, an IED attack on […]

Wood Mac: Iraqi oil sector underperforming

1 Jun 2017   Iraq

A high-risk operational environment coupled with a difficult bureaucracy and market conditions means Iraq is underperforming in oil, Wood Mackenzie found. Iraq is one of the largest producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and agreed to limit it output to 4.35 million barrels per day for the first half of the year under the terms of a multilateral agreement to curb production to balance an oversupplied market. As the post-U.S. invasion dust settled, Iraq late in the last decade opened its doors to international investors and set its sights on producing as much as 12 million bpd. A report published Wednesday from analytical group Wood Mackenzie said Iraq is a low-cost producer that hosts […]

Pearl takes arbitration victory against KRG to U.S. court

29 May 2017   Iraq

Kurdistan’s leading gas investor is looking to affirm $2 billion in awards against the KRG, potentially paving the way for enforcement action, while lining up $26.5 billion in further claims. An engineer looks out over gas processing facilities at the Khor Mor field, which is operated by the Emirati companies Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas, in 2013. (JACOB RUSSELL/Iraq Oil Report/Metrography) The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is facing the prospect of a $2 billion U.S. court order as its leading gas investor seeks to confirm a series of prior arbitration awards in international jurisdictions.Pearl Petroleum – together with affiliated UAE energy companies Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum – applied on May 12 to the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia for “recognition and enforcement” of awards made in litigation in the London Court of International Arbitrat… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If […]

Iraq exports steady in April

9 May 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s April oil export levels were virtually unchanged compared to March, providing another indicator that the Oil Ministry is not planning further production cuts as several oil producing countries attempt to prop up the slumping oil price.The federal government sold 3.252 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, compared with 3.259 million bpd in March, according to the Oil Ministry. Iraqi oil sold by the federal government averaged $47.188 per barrel in March and $47.275 per barrel in Apr…

More oil activity expected in Kurdish Iraq, DNO says

5 May 2017   Iraq

First quarter results mean current market conditions support a doubling of the amount of activity in Kurdish oil fields, a Norwegian energy company said. Norwegian oil and gas company DNO said first quarter results showed a profit of $15 million, against a $31 million loss in the previous term. Revenues were up 83 percent. As a result, the company said it was expanding its investment program for the year, “including doubling of planned 2017 wells at the Tawke field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.” The company said it plans eight new production wells in its flagship assets in the Kurdish north of Iraq, which is under threat, but largely isolated from regional conflict attributed to […]

Assassins kill North Gas Company deputy DG

3 May 2017   Iraq

Masked gunmen assassinated the deputy director general of the state-run North Gas Company (NGC) Tuesday morning in Kirkuk.Iraq’s northern oil sector has been buffeted by violence in recent years, due to attacks by militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) group, friction between rival political factions, and mafia-style violence.Tuesday’s incident echoes a series of assassinations in 2015 that targeted senior Kirkuk-based oil officials.Mohammed Younis Salih Kali was being…

iew full article at

Iraq says will go with consensus at next OPEC meeting

28 Apr 2017   Iraq

Iraq will go with the consensus reached by OPEC when the oil exporter group meets in Vienna next month to discuss extending production cuts, the country’s oil minister said on Thursday. “Now we’re going on the 25th of May to OPEC and we’re definitely going to be in line with OPEC’s final decision and collective decisions,” Jabar al-Luaibi told a conference in Paris. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was in full compliance with the OPEC-led supply pact reached last year and has achieved about 97 percent of its output reduction target, Luaibi said. “Iraq is fully committed and Iraq is in full compliance with OPEC members,” Luaibi said. He added that the OPEC-led cuts were […]