Iraq seeks to collect KRG’s Oil Revenues

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has hinted that his government wants to take control of revenue generated from Kurdish oil exports.

The measure is the latest of a set of actions taken by Baghdad against the Kurdistan Region for carrying out last week’s referendum that saw a 92-percent vote for independence, the first of which saw a ban in international flights to and from the Kurdish region.

Abadi said in a tweet that his government wanted to pay monthly salaries of KRG employees with money from Kurdish oil sales.  “Federal government control of oil revenues is in order to pay KR (Kurdistan Region) employee salaries in full and so that money will not go to the corrupt,” Abadi tweeted.

The Kurdistan Region has described the Iraqi-imposed flight ban, and other measures as “collective punishment,” that, among others, affect the wounded Kurdish Peshmerga who need medical treatment abroad, and Yezidi survivors of IS atrocities.

Amanj Rahim, the secretary of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), told the Kurdish parliament on September 30 that the oil export through Turkey’s Ceyhan pipeline was going ahead as normal.

Separately, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reassured Kurdish citizens they will remain secure even as the government escalates its measure against their region’s government over the recent referendum on independence.

You are citizens of the first degree, we will not allow any harm to you and we will share our loaf of bread together,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, addressing Kurds via twitter on September 30. “To our people in the Kurdistan region: We defend our Kurdish citizens as we defend all Iraqis and will not allow any attack on them,” Abadi added.

(Source: GardaWorld)

Oil Exports Up Slightly in September

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for September of 97,204,267 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.240 million barrels per day (bpd), slightly more than the 3.216 bpd exported in August.

The exports were entirely from the southern terminals, with no exports from Kirkuk via Ceyhan.

Revenues for the month were $4.882 billion at an average price of $50.225 per barrel.

August export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Reserve 5 mins For Iraqi Children on October 5th!

On Thursday – October 5th – The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) and awesome IRONMAN challenger Mais Abousy are joining forces to compete for a share of $50,000 in cash for Iraq’s most vulnerable kids.

Mais, an Iraqi-American mother and lawyer, is training for the October IRONMAN where she will compete carrying US and Iraqi flags.  She will swim 1.2 miles (1.9K), bike 56 miles (90K), and run 13.1 miles (21K) along with some 2,800 athletes and thousands of observers from around the world.

October 5th is a great opportunity to make a high-impact gift and finish your year-end giving early.  The donation “race” starts at 9:00:01 am and ends 11:59:59 pm Washington DC time (EDT).  How much we raise October 5th determines what portion of the $50,000 pot ICF wins.  Plus, for every new monthly donation, ICF gets a 1-month match.

If you are “in”:

  1. Post this link on your calendar for October 5th
  2. Decide on a 1-time gift or monthly donations
  3. Execute October 5th!

Want to know what your gifts do?

  • $10 covers four nutritious, yummy meals for kids
  • $25 reserves a seat on the Hope Bus for a boy or girl for a whole week with tutoring, a healthy lunch, fun, & more
  • $30 a month can support a social worker to help kids stop working, go to school, access health care, and get loving interventions to stop abuse and neglect
  • $50 a month helps cover the salary of a “street lawyer”  to defend kids in court, help kids get documents to go to school, and teach children to protect themselves against dangers on the streets from criminals, human traffickers, and extremists

UN Migration Agency Assists Newly Displaced from Hawija

Military operations to retake Hawija district and surrounding areas, which began on 21 September, have to date displaced more than 2,400 individuals from Hawija, Kirkuk governorate and Shirqat, Salah al-Din governorate. The majority displaced to Ninewa governorate, including 1,700 individuals bussed by Iraqi authorities to IOM’s Haj Ali emergency site 60 km south of Mosul.

Most of these recently displaced people arrived to a secure area after fleeing their towns and villages, many walking five to 10 hours through desert lands, leaving them dehydrated and exhausted.

The majority of IDPs arriving at Haj Ali are children, women and older people. As the military operations continue, thousands of additional families are expected to be displaced and in need of assistance.

Upon arrival, families are assigned a tent and given two kits: a Rapid Response Mechanism kit (food, water and a hygiene kit) from a local NGO; and an NFI kit from IOM, including mattresses, bedding, kitchen set, fan, light, plastic mats, gas cooker, and more. An IOM doctor is present at registration to identify urgent health needs.

Amal, 24, from Tal al-Wared village in Hawija district, along with a group of family members, arrived in Haj Ali site on Friday, September 22. While visiting IOM’s health center for medical checkups, she said “Life in Hawija was very difficult, there were shortages of food and basic supplies. I am very concerned about my 16 relatives who were not able to depart with us. We are still waiting to hear from them.”

Dr. Ahmed Basheer of IOM at Haj Ali site was among a group of first responders to provide emergency medical care for newly displaced people.

Post-Referendum Threats And Demands

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Kurdish Politicians Talk About Post-Referendum Threats And Demands

While many uncertainties remain about Iraqi Kurdistan’s referendum on independence, there is one thing that seems clear to the people on the streets: On the day, the semi-autonomous region felt united in a way that it has not been for a long time.

Part of the reason Iraqi Kurdistan has remained an oasis of relative calm and security, while the rest of Iraq fell apart during the recent security crisis caused by the extremist group known as the Islamic State and earlier, is that the Kurdish people have always considered their ethnicity more important than the religious sect they belong to.

Ethnicity has trumped religion in their case and, despite infighting, has tended to unite locals in this area, with the long-term goal being to form their own nation.

In many other situations recently, the Kurdish have been divided – often between the two zones that basically make up the semi-autonomous northern region, which are run by the two major political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK.

Up until the very last minute some of the region’s political parties remained opposed to the referendum. The KDP, the PUK and the Kurdistan Islamic Union had supported the referendum while the Change movement, also known as Goran, and the Islamic Group of Kurdistan wanted it postponed.

Just one day before the referendum though, when it became clear it was going ahead, the Islamic Group of Kurdistan relented and senior members said they would be voting “yes” in the poll.

Even the Change movement, a long-time opposition group in the region that formed on an anti-corruption platform, told members to follow their own consciences. Then the movement also told members they should vote, and that they should vote “yes”.

Kirkuk’s Kurdish Governor: If Baghdad Blockades Us, ‘We Will Manage’

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Kirkuk’s Kurdish Governor: If Baghdad Blockades Us, ‘We Will Manage’

In an interview, the controversial governor of Kirkuk, Najmuddin Karim, talks about Baghdad’s attempts to fire him, military tensions and what happens if Baghdad stops sending money.

On September 14, the Iraqi parliament voted to dismiss the governor of Kirkuk from his post. The decision came after the governor, Najmuddin Karim, said that the Kirkuk area would also take part in the Kurdish referendum on independence held this week, on Monday.

The Kurdish minority in Iraq want their region to secede from the rest of Iraq and to begin to start a new nation; they already have their own government, military, and borders.

The decision on Karim’s position was made in the Iraqi parliament even though Kurdish MPs boycotted the vote. Karim rejected the dismissal as did the political party he belongs to, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, and the Iraqi Kurdish government, which controls the semi-autonomous northern region.

The Kirkuk provincial council also supported the governor. However Arab and Turkmen members of the council who represent a significant proportion of Kirkuk’s population boycotted the session.

Kirkuk is one of Iraq’s most controversial “disputed areas” – that is, an area that the Iraqi government says belongs to Iraq but which the Kurdish believe should be part of their region. Although the Iraqi Kurdish military control the district, the population includes significant numbers of Arabs and Turkmen too, and this is why the city is often referred to as a potential flashpoint for ethnic conflict.

Karim spoke to NIQASH about the Kurdish referendum on independence as well as his dismissal and its ramifications for his authority in Kirkuk in the future.

NIQASH: There were a number of different options presented to the Kurdish leadership along with requests to postpone the referendum, but none of them seemed to be acceptable. Why?

Najmuddin Karim: The alternative proposals were not concrete. When the Iraqi prime minister spoke about problems, he was talking about amending the Constitution, which isn’t possible. We would only have agreed to postpone the referendum on condition that a date for Kurdish independence was set. There is no doubt that Kirkuk has a Kurdish identity and that its fate is entwined with that of the Kurdish region.

Kuwait Energy plans New Wells in Iraq

By John Lee.

Kuwait Energy has said that by focusing on its Iraqi operations, it is protected against oil price fluctuations, allowing it to sustain growth and a strong balance sheet even under volatile market conditions.

In its Financial Statement for 1st Half 2017, the company says:

Our finances reflect the continued growth in the Company’s operations, and although global oil prices fell by around 20% in the second quarter of the year we remained profitable, a testimony to our naturally hedged Iraqi production, which continues to increase, reflected in the 47% increase in revenues – in comparison to the same period last year – and a healthy cash balance in excess of US$67.0 million …

In Iraq, we are paid regularly in the form of assigned crude shipments. The increase in our Iraqi production is now enabling us to take larger crude liftings than before. With the additional wells coming on stream over the coming months, these shipments will be more frequent adding to our cashflow growth. We are currently loading our largest Iraqi crude shipment and expect to receive the payment before the end of October 2017.

The company has interests in Mansuriya, Siba, and Block 9.

(Source: Kuwait Energy)

(Picture: Sara Akbar, CEO, Kuwait Energy)

Iraq to Invest in Joint Oil Projects with Iran

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has said an agreement will soon be signed with Iran to jointly invest in two oil fields shared between the two countries.

Last month, Iraq’s Ambassador to Tehran, Rajih al-Mussawi, said his country was considering a plan to cooperate with Iran to develop the Azadegan oil field which the two sides share.

According ot PressTV, Iran discovered the Azadegan field in 1999 in what was the country’s biggest oil find in decades.  It is believed to be connected with Iraq’s supergiant Majnoon oil field.

Japan’s Inpex was contracted to develop the Azadegan project, but later quit in an apparent reaction to US sanctions against Iran.

Shell is reportedly trying to quit the Majnoon project, but has also submitted its technical study plan to Iranian authorities to develop the Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields.

(Source: PressTV)

Turkey Threatens to Invade Iraq, Cut Off Oil Pipeline

By John Lee.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (pictured) has threatened to invade Iraq, and said he could cut off the oil export pipeline from Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, following the vote supporting independence in Iraqi Kurdistan.

We have the tap,” he said. “It is done once, we close the tap.

The pipeline typically carries between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

In a strongly-worded speech, Erdoğan said that fighting the Iraqi Kurdish bid for independence was “a matter of survival“.

His Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, added that Ankara could take punitive measures involving borders and air space against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Shares in Genel Energy fell 7 percent in early trading on Tuesday, but had recovered by lunchtime; Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) was down 2 percent, while Norway’s DNO was 5 percent higher.

(Sources: The Independent, Alliance News, Reuters, Yahoo!)

Petrofac Wins Iraq Contract with KOGAS

UK-based Petrofac has been awarded a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) modification contract for the KOGAS AKKAS B.V. Nasiriya Gas Treatment Plant (GTP) in southern Iraq.

Petrofac’s scope of work includes the modification and application of an existing field design to meet the needs of the Nasiriya GTP, and an estimation for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) costs in line with the revised design requirements.

Steve Webber, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Production Services East, said:

This award is testament to our engineering design capabilities, as well as our deep understanding of the market and supply chain in Iraq. KOGAS is a new client for us in a core market and we look forward to further developing our relationship through the successful delivery of this scope.

“Throughout the project, we will provide a robust FEED package for the execution of the Nasiriya GTP in alignment with KOGAS’ expectations, to ensure that it can maximise the total value of the field.

(Source: Petrofac)