Iraq

Iraq Could Complicate OPEC Extension

18 Mar 2017   Iraq

Oil prices are refusing to budge this Friday, despite a large increase in the U.S. rig count and some bearish noises from OPEC. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Friday, March 17, 2017 Oil prices are set to close out the week unchanged from a week earlier, having moved up and down over the past few days. The latest report from the EIA was a merciful one for crude, showing a small but all-important drawdown in crude inventories. Had crude stocks jumped again last week, oil prices surely would have dropped significantly. Still, there is a weak case for much higher oil prices in the near-term, given that U.S. inventories are still at a record high and oil production is rising. Saudi Arabia prepared to extend cuts if inventories remain high . Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said in a Bloomberg interview that OPEC would be prepared to […]

Intra-Kurdish tensions high amidst provocations and protests

18 Mar 2017   Iraq

A volatile rivalry between two Kurdish factions, which burst into deadly fighting two weeks ago in Sinjar, continues to escalate with protests and provocative troop movements.Forces aligned with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, the acting president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), have deployed to several areas in Erbil and Dohuk provinces, provoking demonstrations and creating friction with local residents.The deployments appear to be a response to the… 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 .

Iraq’s oil exports dip so far in March after OPEC cut

17 Mar 2017   Iraq

Oil exports from Iraq’s southern terminals have edged lower so far in March, according to loading data and an industry source, although not as much as expected, potentially raising questions over the country’s compliance with OPEC production cuts. A March loading program had pointed to southern exports from OPEC’s second-largest producer falling to 3 million barrels per day (bpd), which a source familiar with the matter said was related to Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC cuts. But exports from southern Iraq – the outlet for most of the country’s crude – in the first 14 days of March have averaged 3.25 million bpd, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and by an industry source. Two Iraqi oil officials said on Wednesday the rate in the first half of March […]

Intra-Kurdish tensions high amidst provocations and protests

17 Mar 2017   Iraq

A volatile rivalry between two Kurdish factions, which burst into deadly fighting two weeks ago in Sinjar, continues to escalate with protests and provocative troop movements.Forces aligned with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, the acting president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), have deployed to several areas in Erbil and Dohuk provinces, provoking demonstrations and creating friction with local residents.The deployments appear to be a response to the…

Iraq Plans to Boost Crude Oil Production and Exports This Year

16 Mar 2017   Iraq

Iraq pumped 4.57 million barrels a day of oil in February and plans to boost output later in the year even as the OPEC member reaffirmed its commitment to the group’s decision to cut production to counter a global glut.  The country plans to increase output to 5 million barrels a day by the end of 2017, Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said Wednesday at a news conference in the southern city of Basra. Iraq exported 3.87 million barrels a day from its southern and northern shipment hubs in February, the ministry’s spokesman, Asim Jihad, said in an emailed statement.

Q&A: Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi

14 Mar 2017   Iraq

By the end of the year, Iraq plans to shatter the record-setting benchmarks it achieved in 2016 for both oil and gas production.Despite an OPEC agreement to limit global supply, Oil Minister Jabbar Ali al-Luiebi said Iraq will reach 5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in 2017, and capture 1.36 billion standard cubic feet per day (scf/d) of gas.Since taking the helm of the Oil Ministry seven months ago, Luiebi has made quick work in trying to streamline the bureaucracy and put an arra…

Iran leapfrogs Iraq as India’s no. 2 oil supplier in February: trade data

13 Mar 2017   India, Iran, Iraq

India’s oil imports from Iran rose nearly 17 percent in February from a month earlier as refiners received less crude from key OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and Iraq after an OPEC deal to cut output, shipping data showed on Monday. The jump meant Iran replaced regional rival Iraq as India’s second-biggest oil supplier – a role Tehran used to occupy before Western sanctions were imposed against it over the country’s disputed nuclear program. While Saudi Arabia remained the biggest oil supplier to India, ship tracking data and a report compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts showed imports from Iran rose to 647,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February. That was 16.7 percent more than January, and almost trebled from February […]

Oil Ministry confirms February export decline

11 Mar 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s Oil Ministry released official export data for January and February on Thursday, confirming prior estimates by Iraq Oil Report suggesting that the country was reducing output in its effort to conform with an OPEC quota agreement.The federal government exported an average of 3.32 million barrels per day (bpd) in January and 3.27 million bpd in February, the ministry said. Those figures do not include oil sold independently by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).Throughput data …

Kirkuk oil crisis subsides as PUK faction withdraws

10 Mar 2017   Iraq

An armed faction of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party has withdrawn from key energy sites in Kirkuk, signaling at least a temporary resolution to a crisis over the province’s oil and gas resources.The drawdown, which began Wednesday, followed a meeting in Sulaimaniya on Tuesday between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and senior PUK leaders, including Hero Talabani and Kosrat Rasul, according to a member of the PUK leadership council.Their discussion centered on … This content is for registered users.

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Why Kurdish Oil Is a Wild Card for Markets:

9 Mar 2017   Iraq

If Iraq’s Kurdish territory were a country, it would probably qualify for OPEC membership. It wouldn’t even be the smallest member, given its production of about 600,000 barrels of oil per day. That’s an impressive achievement for a landlocked enclave that started exploring only a decade ago. The region’s potential is greater still, though it faces political, military and economic challenges to expanding its output. 1. Why does the Kurdish region matter to oil markets? The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government says the area’s reserves could total 45 billion barrels, more than Nigeria’s, and Kurdish crude is generally cheap to extract. When foreign investors tramped into the region’s oil fields after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the crude was so abundant it seeped from the ground beneath their feet. Tony Hayward, former BP Plc boss turned wildcatter, called Iraqi Kurdistan “one of the last great frontiers” in the oil […]

Overhaul planned for refinery in Kirkuk, Iraq

9 Mar 2017   Iraq

The refining capacity of a complex in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk will be expanded in part to better serve community needs, the Iraqi oil minister said. “The Ministry of Oil is working to add a new refining unit to Kirkuk refinery with a capacity of 10,000 barrels per day before the end of the year,” Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in a statement . The northern city of Kirkuk has been at the center of disputes between the central government in Baghdad and the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. The terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State waged an offensive on Kirkuk last year. The oil minister said in a telegram to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that refinery development […]

Why Kurdish Oil Is a Wild Card for Markets: QuickTake Q&A

9 Mar 2017   Iraq

If Iraq’s Kurdish territory were a country, it would probably qualify for OPEC membership. It wouldn’t even be the smallest member, given its production of about 600,000 barrels of oil per day. That’s an impressive achievement for a landlocked enclave that started exploring only a decade ago. The region’s potential is greater still, though it faces political, military and economic challenges to expanding its output. 1. Why does the Kurdish region matter to oil markets? The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government says the area’s reserves could total 45 billion barrels, more than Nigeria’s, and Kurdish crude is generally cheap to extract. When foreign investors tramped into the region’s oil fields after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the crude was so abundant it seeped from the ground beneath their feet. Tony Hayward, former BP Plc boss turned wildcatter, called Iraqi Kurdistan “one of the last great frontiers” in the oil […]

Wellheads burn at Hamrin field after deadly IS attack

8 Mar 2017   Iraq

Militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group attacked the Hamrin oil field late Monday night, killing four guards and setting multiple wellheads on fire.The attack highlighted the IS group’s ongoing ability to launch guerrilla-style attacks in a swath of territory in northern Salahaddin and Diyala provinces, which Iraqi security forces have ostensibly controlled for more than a year.The Hamrin field, in Salahaddin, is being guarded mainly by paramilitary groups op…

Too soon to say if OPEC should extend output curbs: Iraq

7 Mar 2017   Iraq, OPEC

The Iraqi oil minister said on Monday that it was too early to say if OPEC should extend output curbs and that Baghdad was ready to participate if the producer group decided to prolong supply caps into the second half of the year. “It’s very premature to be talking about any changes,” Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said at an energy conference in Houston. “It will depend on oil prices and market stability. If OPEC decides cuts, then Iraq will cut.” (Reporting by Ruthy Munoz; Writing by Simon Webb)

PUK faction seizes more Kirkuk energy infrastructure

7 Mar 2017   Iraq

“Black Force” special police took over the North Gas Company headquarters Sunday, and continue to occupy the IT-1 station, as tensions over Kirkuk energy resources escalate. Aso Almany, the leader of the “Black Force” special police and head of the PUK’s office in Kirkuk, speaks at a press conference on March 5, 2017. He is flanked by Shwan al-Daoudi (left), Rebouar Taha (right), and Biston Zangana (far right). (KAMARAN AL-NAJAR/Iraq Oil Report) An armed faction within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party has seized a second key piece of Kirkuk-area energy infrastructure – further escalating a showdown over control of the province’s oil and gas resources.The so-called “Black Force” special police unit occupied the headquarters of the North Gas Company (NGC) on Sunday, three days after taking over the IT-1 compound, which is a hub for gathering and pumping oil produced in eastern Kirkuk province.”Kirkuk’s govern… This […]

Report: Paramilitary force occupies northern Iraqi oil office

3 Mar 2017   Iraq

Iraqi media reported a Kurdish paramilitary force occupied the offices of a state oil company in Kirkuk in a show of force over the nation’s oil reserves. Forces loyal to the leftist Patriotic Union of Kurdistan entered the Kirkuk offices of the North Oil Co. to stake a claim to the oil in northern Iraq. Aso Mamand, the head of the PUK, was quoted by Iraqi media outlet Rudaw as saying the central government in Baghdad was exploiting the region for its oil wealth. “We have deployed troops to prevent Baghdad from exporting Kirkuk’s oil to Mosul and Baghdad,” he said. “Baghdad wants to export Kirkuk’s oil for the rest of Iraq while our people are in desperate need […]

Despite Promises To Cut, Iraq Raises February Oil Exports

3 Mar 2017   Iraq

Crude oil exports from Iraq went up by 1 percent to 3.85 million barrels daily in February, despite the OPEC oil production cut that has seen Saudi Arabia and other major Gulf exporters cut their shipments abroad. Most of the increase came from the Kurdistan autonomous region, over which the central government in Baghdad has no real control: exports from the northern fields around Kirkuk that are under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government rose by 9 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments from Iraq’s largest port of Basra went up by 1 percent. Iraq has been the focus of worry regarding the OPEC deal because of its dependence on oil revenues. OPEC’s second-biggest producer pledged – after much opposition – to reduce its daily output by 210,000 barrels but it has not yet reached the mark. According to the latest data available, at the end […]

Armed political faction interrupts Kirkuk exports

3 Mar 2017   Iraq

The “Black Force” special police unit of the PUK party briefly took over Kirkuk’s IT-1 facility – a sign of deteriorating intra-Kurdish political rivalries. The Jabal Bor production and gas oil separation stations of Kirkuk’s Baba Dome on March 10, 2016. (KAMARAN AL-NAJAR/Iraq Oil Report) Iraq’s northern oil exports were briefly disrupted Thursday when armed units associated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party took over a central oil facility in Kirkuk.The incident is further evidence of a deteriorating rivalry between the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) two main parties over how to share power, including over energy resources.At around 8:15 a.m., units from the so-called “Black Force,” a Kirkuk-based special police unit operated by the PUK… 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 .

Iraq’s Oil Exports Are Up, Despite OPEC Output Cuts

2 Mar 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s crude exports rose 1 percent by volume in February, contrasting with a decrease in monthly shipments by Saudi Arabia after both countries agreed to OPEC’s plan to cut oil production in an effort to prop up prices and trim a global oversupply. Exports increased to 3.85 million barrels a day last month, about 39,000 barrels a day more than in January, according to port-agent reports and ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments from the southern port of Basra grew by about 1 percent, and sales by the Kurdish Regional Government in the north of the country rose about 9 percent, the data show. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is limiting output in the first half of this year to cut global crude stockpiles that are weighing on prices. The group agreed on Nov. 30 to decrease production by 1.2 million barrels a day, with 11 countries outside […]

February exports fall sharply

2 Mar 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s oil exports in February appeared to fall by nearly 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared to the previous month.The country as a whole – including both federal Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan region – exported about 3.74 million bpd in February, compared to 3.93 million bpd in January.Estimates for both months are based on Iraq Oil Report’s analysis of independently gathered data on tanker loadings and pipeline flows. Neither the federal Oil Ministry nor the Kurdistan Regio…

Iraq Plans Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to Boost Reserves

28 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraq is planning to start offshore oil and gas exploration to boost the OPEC nation’s reserves, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in a statement on Monday. Luaibi said he “gave guidance to the Oil Exploration Company about the importance of exploring territorial waters to assess the hydrocarbons reserves and to boost Iraq’s capacity”. Iraq last week announced an increase in its oil reserves to 153 billion barrels from a previous estimate of 143 billion barrels. Iraq has boosted output rapidly in recent years with the help of foreign oil companies to become OPEC’s second-largest producer behind Saudi Arabia. It agreed at the end of November to take part in an OPEC agreement to cut global supply to help to lift oil prices. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by David Goodman)

Inside the black heart of IS’s oil sector

28 Feb 2017   Iraq

On the Mosul outskirts, the IS group’s Iraqi oil refining hub – recently seized by Iraqi forces – shows how the militants used savvy management to fuel their killing machine. A patchwork of rudimentary oil refineries – set up under IS and now abandoned – in the Khafsah area south of Mosul, Feb. 23, 2017. (PATRICK OSGOOD/Iraq Oil Report) At the peak of its hold on Iraq, the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group transformed a barren expanse of desert, about four miles south of Mosul, into the black heart of its oil industry.The low-slung hills of Khafsah are now a wasted landscape of mangled metal and explosive ordnance. But until recently this was the site of about 600 primitive oil refineries, which generated millions of dollars’ worth of fuel and revenue that powered the IS group’s murderous operations.Iraq..

One dead in Bai Hassan oil field bombing

27 Feb 2017   Iraq

Two IED attacks have hit northern Iraqi oil fields in the past week. Fire burns from an oil storage tank after a militant attack at the Bai Hassan South oil field in Kirkuk’s Dibis district, July 31, 2016. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report) At least two improvised explosive devices (IED) exploded at the Bai Hassan oil field on Saturday morning, days after another bomb exploded at another Kirkuk-area field and two weeks after an accident took part of Bai Hassan offline. “Daesh’s sleeper cells in the area are the ones to be accused of the attacks,” said Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir, the general director of police for Kirkuk’s districts and sub-districts, using a term for the Islamic State (IS) militant group. At least one Kurdish… 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 […]

Saudi Arabia and Iraq Crude Exports to US Hit Five-Year High

27 Feb 2017   Iraq, Saudi Arabia, USA

Crude oil imported to the United States from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined has reached a peak not seen since 2012, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration says the volume will likely decline soon.  oward the end of 2016, high production in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, coupled with low domestic demand in Saudi, contributed to the crude export volumes. Saudi exported 8.3 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) in November – its highest volume since May 2003 – before dropping to 8 Mmbpd in December, EIA said in a recent brief. Iraq’s exports hit a record high of almost 4.1 Mmbpd in November, which continued through December.  Both countries’ production was relatively high prior to OPEC’s pledge in November to cut production. Saudi Arabia produced 321,000 bpd and Iraq volumes increased by 700,000 bpd, above the previous year’s levels, according to information from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative. In 2015, Iraq’s production was impaired by economic sanctions.

But with the implementation of the OPEC production cut pledge in January, coupled with U.S. refiners’ ability to use domestic Mars crude oil as feedstock, the export totals may decline, EIA said.  In the United States, Congress is considering a tax on imported goods and services, which could also cut imports from the Middle East. The border adjustment tax (BAT) could boost income for domestic oil and gas producers, but refiners’ are wary of its impact on the heavy crude imports they use for feedstock.

Kurdish government changes oil export options

24 Feb 2017   Iraq

A major player in the oil sector of the Kurdish north of Iraq said it was re-routing exports by government orders, but that won’t impact production levels.  The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq said that, starting in February, all crude oil exported from its Shaikan field would move to Turkish export arteries by truck instead of by pipeline until further notice.

Oil Police expose potential Basra refinery threat

24 Feb 2017   Iraq

Oil Police arrested two men suspected of ties to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group Wednesday as they tried to enter the Shuaiba refinery complex in Basra.The men did not appear to have the weapons or equipment necessary to perpetrate an attack, according to a police report obtained by Iraq Oil Report, and the incident raised several unanswered questions about what kind of plot, if any, the refinery might face.The Shuaiba refinery, located in western Basra province, is… T

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Rosneft Expands in Middle East With Libya and Iraq Oil Deals

22 Feb 2017   Iraq, Libya, Russia

Rosneft PJSC , the state-run producer headed by a close adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is expanding its footprint in the Middle East by striking new oil deals with Iraq’s Kurdish region and Libya. Russia’s largest oil producer agreed to buy crude from Libya’s National Oil Corp., the state-run NOC said Tuesday on its website, without specifying the amount. The deal also provides for Rosneft to invest in exploration and production in the North African country. The Russian company announced on the same day it will buy Kurdish oil until 2019 and will study exploration and production opportunities in Kurdish areas, it said in a statement. “These deals combine potentially good economics for Rosneft and good politics for the Kremlin,” Chris Weafer, a partner at Macro Advisory in Moscow, said Tuesday by e-mail. “Expect more deals from Rosneft in the Middle East and North Africa and across the […]

Rosneft signs landmark deal to buy KRG crude

22 Feb 2017   Iraq, Russia

In a sign that Kurdistan’s oil sector is shedding some of its legal and political risk, KRG crude will now supply the refineries of Russia’s largest oil company. A tanker loads crude at the Turkish port of Ceyhan, May 2015. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report) Kurdistan has signed a three-year crude supply agreement with Russian state oil giant Rosneft, a milestone in the regional government’s efforts to establish an independent oil sector.”It is the first time the KRG has supplied crude directly to a major global oil refiner and reflects the growing confidence of the international oil market in KRG crude,” said a KRG official with knowledge of the deal.The contract is part of a broader cooperation agreement covering upstream, logistics, and … 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 […]

Russia’s Rosneft starts drilling in Iraq

21 Feb 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russian oil producer Rosneft reported Monday it started new drilling operations in Iraq, alongside a Chinese contracting partner. Rosneft said it started a new exploration well, which according to state news agency Tass should be completed by July. The company is working in the area alongside a Chinese contractor, after taking over the operations in October. Rosneft is Russia’s largest oil producer. For the fourth quarter, the company said its net production was up 11.8 percent year-on-year for a new record high. As one of the largest oil producers outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia is contributing to efforts to balance a market that last year favored the supply side. According to statistics, Russian oil producer Lukoil, one of the country’s largest in terms of net […]

Iraqi forces battle their way toward Mosul airport

20 Feb 2017   Iraq

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces fought Islamic State fighters on Monday to clear the way to Mosul’s airport, on the second day of a ground offensive on the jihadists’ remaining stronghold in the western side of the city. Federal police and elite interior ministry units known as Rapid Response are leading the charge toward the airport, located on the southern limit of the Mosul, trying to dislodge the militants from a nearby hill known as Albu Saif. The Iraqi forces plan is to turn the airport into a close support base for the onslaught into western Mosul itself. Islamic State militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after they were forced out of the eastern part […]

US Defense Secretary Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil

20 Feb 2017   Iraq

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, shifting away from an idea proposed by President Donald Trump that has rattled Iraq’s leaders. Mattis’ arrived on an unannounced visit in Iraq as the battle to oust Islamic State militants from western Mosul moved into its second day, and as the Pentagon considers ways to accelerate the campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria. Those efforts could be complicated by Trump’s oil threat and his inclusion of Iraq in the administration’s travel ban – twin blows that have roiled the nation and spurred local lawmakers to pressure Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to reduce cooperation with Washington. “I think all of us here in this room, all of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I’m sure that we will continue to […]

Iraq’s February Oil Sales Accelerate Despite OPEC Effort to Cut

17 Feb 2017   Iraq

Daniel Yergin Expects Big U.S. Oil Producer OPEC Response Iraqi crude shipments rose 3 percent in the first half of February even after OPEC’s second-biggest producer agreed to participate in global output cuts to mop up a glut that has put pressure on oil prices. Exports increased to 3.93 million barrels a day in the first 15 days of the month, 122,000 barrels a day more than the average for all of January, according to port-agent reports and ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments from the southern Iraqi port of Basra grew by 10 percent, while sales by the Kurdish Regional Government in the north of the country were up 13 percent, the data show. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is limiting output in the first half of this year to cut global crude stockpiles that are weighing on prices. The group agreed on Nov. 30 to reduce […]

Iraq plans to acquire ‘large fleet’ of oil tankers

17 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraq plans to acquire a “large fleet” of oil tankers to transport the OPEC nation’s crude to global markets, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said in a statement on Friday. The nation’s tanker fleet was largely destroyed during the U.S.-led offensive to dislodge Iraq from Kuwait in 1991, according to the state-run Iraqi Oil Tankers Company’s website. The company owned as many as 24 tankers in the 1980s. “The ministry is keen to restructure the company and develop its operations by building and buying a large fleet of tankers,” Luaibi told the company’s management, according to the statement. Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest producer, after Saudi Arabia. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Adrian Croft)

Trump Burning Bridges In Iraq Over “Take the Oil” Comments

17 Feb 2017   Iraq

“The old expression, ‘to the victor belong the spoils’—you remember. I always used to say, keep the oil. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you, when we were in, we got out wrong…we should have kept the oil.” Those were President Trump’s comments at the CIA the day after his inauguration in January. President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the U.S. should have “taken Iraq’s oil,” an argument that he revisited as recently as last week. “We’ve spent $6 trillion…in the Middle East,” President Trump said during a meeting with airline executives at the White House on February 9. “ We’ve got nothing. We’ve got nothing. We never even kept a small, even a tiny oil well. Not one little oil well. I said, ‘Keep the oil.’” The notion that the U.S. military should have taken Iraq’s […]

Assassination and bombings roil Basra

16 Feb 2017   Iraq

ABasra leaders are scrambling to contain an outbreak of violence that has targeted political figures and provoked outrage among Shia paramilitary groups.The spate of violence began with the assassination, on Feb. 8, of Bassam al-Mosawi, the general secretary of the paramilitary group Hizbollah Iraq. Over the following week, six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have detonated around the city, one outside the home of an official from the Dawa political party.In response to the deteriora… 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 . […]

Iraq Plans For Enormous Boost To Refining Capacity

15 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s government is ambitious and it wants to make the most of the country’s oil and gas reserves. Plans for an expansion of the country’s refinery network have been circulating for years, but the war with IS has put these on hold. What’s worse is that the prospects for these plans are gloomy unless it gets a significant amount of external help. Before the war with IS engulfed OPEC’s second-largest exporter, plans were to add five new refineries to the network over a period of 20 years, starting in 2008. At the time, the refining capacity of Iraq stood around 886,000 bpd. Since then, the only progress made has been the start of construction of the Karbala refinery, as one expert, the former chief of the Energy Study Secretarial of OPEC, notes in an industry analysis. In it, Saadallah al Fathi quotes information from an unnamed industry insider who […]

New deal links Kirkuk oil and KRG refineries

15 Feb 2017   Iraq

The federal Oil Ministry has begun sending NOC-produced crude to KRG refineries, generating badly needed fuel that will supply areas liberated from IS. New deal links Kirkuk oil and KRG refineries Kirkuk Gov. Najmaldin Karim (far right) and Deputy Oil Minister Dhia Jaffar (second from right) meet with oil officials in Kirkuk, including Saad Hassan, the CEO of Qaiwan Group (fourth from left), and Baz Karim, CEO of KAR Group (third from left), on June 6, 2016. (Photo credit: Kirkuk governor’s office) Federally operated oil fields in Kirkuk are now feeding privately run refineries in the Kurdistan region, in a new cooperative framework that could dramatically boost fuel supplies to areas of Ninewa province liberated from the Islamic State (IS) group.The deal represents deepening pragmatism between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Kirkuk province, and the federal government over how to best manage Kirkuk’s oil without becoming entangled in long-running […]

Iraq to cut March Basra oil exports to lowest since August: program

14 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, plans to cut crude exports from its southern port of Basra to 3.013 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, the lowest since August, a loading program obtained by Reuters showed. Basra Light exports in March will drop to 2.207 million bpd and exports for Basra Heavy will fall slightly to 806,000 bpd, according to the program. (Reporting by Florence Tan and Olga Yagova)

Iraq’s Oil Flow to Plunge as Maintenance Helps Meet OPEC Pledge

14 Feb 2017   Iraq

Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Output by Most in 8 Years Iraq’s oil exports are poised to slump to a seven-month low in March as ongoing maintenance at some of its biggest fields coincides with a seasonal slump in shipments, potentially helping the country to meet a pledge to OPEC that it would restrict crude supply. The second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will export 3.01 million barrels a day of crude from its Persian Gulf export terminals, down from 3.64 million in February, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg show. The March figure is the lowest since August, while this month’s flows are scheduled to be the highest since October 2015. While the slump could help Iraq to honor its commitment to OPEC, what’s harder to judge is the extent to which the reduced flows reflect a government-led push […]

Iraq Reduces Exports From Basra Terminal

14 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraq will reduce the amount of crude oil it exports via its largest port terminal in Basra to 3.013 million bpd next month, according to loading data seen by Reuters. This is the lowest daily figure since last August. The Basra light blend will account for 2.21 million bpd of total Basra exports. This may be a signal that Iraq is working to improve its compliance with the November 30 production cut agreement struck by OPEC’s members in a bid to prop up crude prices. As of end-January, Iraq was still producing 130,000 bpd above its quota. In a string of mixed signals, however, last week, the state-owned South Oil Company, which operates the Basra terminal, said it would stop operations for 24 hours because of the installation of a new feed-in pipeline: the terminal’s loading capacity currently stands at 1.8 million bpd. In January, the South Oil Company […]

Trump Moves Spark Iraqi Anger, Calls Against Future Alliance

13 Feb 2017   Iraq

Reverberations from President Donald Trump’s travel ban and other stances are threatening to undermine future U.S.-Iraqi security cooperation, rattling a key alliance that over the past two years has slowly beaten back the Islamic State group. Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has sought to contain any backlash from public anger sparked by Trump’s executive order banning Iraqis from traveling to the U.S. Also breeding resentment and suspicion are Trump’s repeated statements that the Americans should have taken Iraq’s oil and his hard line against Iran, a close ally of al-Abadi’s government. Al-Abadi and Trump spoke Thursday night for the first time since Trump’s inauguration. The U.S. leader, who has pledged a stronger fight against IS militants, promised increased help for Iraq against terrorism, and al-Abadi asked him to remove Iraq from the travel ban, according to an Iraqi official who spoke on condition of anonymity to […]

Fireballs and booby traps: On the front lines with the oil workers battling ISIS

13 Feb 2017   Iraq

The flames exploded into the sky like a volcanic eruption, blanketing a swath of the Iraqi countryside in a noxious haze of black smoke. The inferno reached more than 300 feet high on a recent afternoon when the wind shifted direction, bending the billowing wall of fire toward the men from Iraq’s North Oil Co. on the ground below. Within seconds, a fast-moving cloud of hot gas and thick smoke washed over the work site, blotting out the sun and sending workers and engineers scurrying for safety. Some of the men sprinted toward their vehicles; others took cover in corrugated tin sheds, where they patiently waited for the wind to change […]

More drilling planned for Kurdish north of Iraq

10 Feb 2017   Iraq

Steady payments from the Kurdish government in Iraq and improved market conditions means it’s time to start drilling more, Norwegian company DNO said. DNO said it received $210 million in payments last year for crude oil exported from its Tawke field in the Kurdish north of Iraq. So far this year, the company received $59 million from the semiautonomous Kurdish government for crude oil exports. “These payments create momentum as we move into 2017,” DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement . Provided those payments continue, the company said it planned to drill three more wells at its flagship Tawke field with the aim of bringing production to beyond the current rate of 115,000 barrels per day. Third […]

Taq Taq decline highlights Kurdistan oil woes

2 Feb 2017   Iraq

Within two years, production at one of Kurdistan’s flagship oil fields has collapsed by about 75 percent.The rapid decline of the Taq Taq field is an emblem for Kurdistan’s struggling energy sector, where low oil prices and payment delays have left companies without adequate incentive to invest in production capacity.In a statement on Jan. 24, Genel Energy, which jointly manages Taq Taq with a subsidiary of China’s Sinopec, said that production for the month so far has dropped to a… 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 player may be facing headwinds

2 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraqi oil player Gulf Keystone Petroleum said it was planning further investments this year, but still facing commercial pressures. The company is among those with a strong focus on the oil reserves in the semiautonomous Kurdish north of Iraq, which has been relatively stable even as the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State made territorial claims in the region. Operating the Shaikan oil field in the Kurdish region, 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. CEO Jon Ferrier said in a statement he was pleased with the performance last year as most companies were squeezed considerably by a market downturn characterized by historically low […]

Iraq Plays Ball With OPEC as Tanker Tracking Shows Flows Are Cut

1 Feb 2017   Iraq

Oil flows out of Iraq suggest that the Middle East country is complying, at least in part, with OPEC’s plan to curb production. Observed shipments in January were 109,000 barrels a day below October’s level, the month used as a baseline for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ reductions plan. That indicates that Iraq has implemented around half of the production cut it agreed as part of the accord, assuming flows provide an indication of output. Shipments from OPEC’s second-largest producer fell to 3.805 million barrels a day in January from December’s 4.03 million, tanker-tracking data and port agent reports showed, with the decline mainly reflecting a 6.5 percent drop in flows from the southern port of Basra. “The Iraqis are making the bulk of their cuts at southern fields,” said Robin Mills, chief executive officer of Dubai-based consultant Qamar Energy, who advises clients working in the region. “Most […]

Parliament jump-starts stalled oil corruption inquiry

1 Feb 2017   Iraq

Iraq’s Parliament has re-launched a committee to investigate oil sector corruption – the latest in a series of attempts to hold senior officials accountable for allegedly taking bribes.In a Jan. 17 order, Speaker Salim al-Jabouri tasked nine MPs from the Parliament’s oil and finance committees to “investigate the media reports that accused the Oil Ministry’s top officials of involvement in corruption.”The committee will focus on the Oil Ministry’s dealings with the Australian company Lei…

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U.S. interests in Iraq at risk over Trump provocations

31 Jan 2017   Iraq

Ten days into his presidency, Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric have produced a political reaction in Baghdad that could hamper the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) group and hurt American business interests in Iraq.Iraq’s Parliament passed a resolution Monday urging the Cabinet to take “reciprocal measures” in response to Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order barring Iraqis from entering the U.S. While the resolution is not binding, it highlights widespread political outrage…

Oil Minister: Iraq Has Already Cut 180,000 Bpd Under OPEC Deal

24 Jan 2017   Iraq, OPEC

Amid speculation whether Iraq would really play along with the OPEC production cuts, the oil minister of the cartel’s no.2 producer said on Monday that the country had already cut 180,000 bpd off its production, and planned to reduce output by another 30,000 bpd by the end of January. Speaking at an industry event in London, Iraq’s oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said that Iraq had cut production from a level of 4.75 million bpd, Reuters reports, but this was not the reference basket that OPEC used to determine who should cut what under the production cut agreement signed last November. Under the November 30 OPEC deal, Iraq had promised to cut 210,000 bpd from a reference production level of 4.561 million bpd —for a production target of 4.351 bpd. Before signing the agreement, OPEC’s second-biggest producer had pleaded exemption on the grounds that it needs revenues to fight […]

Kurdistan Pays Oil Companies, Breaking Seven-Week Cash Drought

23 Jan 2017   Iraq

The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has paid international oil companies for the first time in seven weeks, as rising crude prices give a much-needed boost to the region’s coffers. DNO ASA, Genel Energy Plc and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd received a combined $53.9 million for oil sold in October, the companies said on Monday. The Kurdistan Regional Government paid for their September exports on Dec. 5 and still owes them for crude sold in November and December. Shares of the companies rose. The KRG has struggled to keep up regular payments to international contractors as it contends with low crude prices, a dispute over revenues with the federal government in Baghdad, large numbers of internal refugees, and a long war with Islamic State militants. Oil has risen almost 20 percent since OPEC and other producers agreed last month to curb supply , easing the financial strain on the region. […]