Iraq, Iran to launch Joint Investment Fund

By John Lee.

Iraq and Iran are to launch a fund to finance joint ventures between the two countries.

In his closing remarks to the Iran-Iraq Economic Conference on Wednesday, Iran's Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian said

"The proposal to establish a joint venture fund to support the private sector of the two countries was approved."

The conference also discussed plans to establish a branch of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iraq.

(Source: Iranian Ministry of Energy)

The post Iraq, Iran to launch Joint Investment Fund first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Mansuriya Gas Contract “Cancelled”; Russia “Extremely Interested”

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly cancelled a contract to develop its Mansuriya gas field near the Iranian border.

Iraq Business News understands that, under a deal agreed in 2010, the field was being developed by Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) (37.5%), Iraqi Oil Exploration Company (25%), Kuwait Energy (KEC) (22.5%), and Kogas (15%).

According to Reuters, the consortium halted development in 2014 due to security concerns after the so-called Islamic State group overran large parts of Iraq.

Writing in Oil Price, Simon Watkins says "Russia has again made it clear that it is extremely interested in taking over the development contract of Iraq's Mansuriya gas field following the recent termination of the contract with a consortium led by Turkey's state-owned TPAO."

More here and here.

(Sources: Reuters, Oil Price)

The post Mansuriya Gas Contract "Cancelled"; Russia "Extremely Interested" first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Drug Smuggling and Abuse on the Rise in Iraq

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Drug smuggling, abuse on the rise in Iraq

Iraq suffers from the flow of drugs from neighboring countries, especially Iran, through the marshes and other border crossings, and the spread among the youth has become a threat to society.

Click here to read the full story.

The post Drug Smuggling and Abuse on the Rise in Iraq first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iran, Iraq Discuss Oil Cooperation

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh and his Iraqi counterpart Ihsan Abdul Jabbar discussed ways to promote cooperation between the two neighbors in the oil industry.

In a telephone conversation, Zangeneh and Abdul Jabbar called for the expansion of oil cooperation between the two Muslim neighbors.

The Iranian minister congratulated Abdul Jabbar on taking office as the new oil minister of Iraq after formation of a new government under Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's leadership, according to the Iranian government's official website.

Abdul Jabbar said Iraq's daily export of crude in June has reached 2.8 million barrels.

The Iraqi oil minister also emphasized that it would be in Iraq's interests to abide by a production cut agreement between OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, saying the Iraqi Kurdistan Region has been directed to comply with the OPEC+ deal and cut its share of oil output.

The OPEC members, Russia and other oil producing nations agreed in April to cut output by around 10% of global supply to support oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

US Welcomes New Iraq Govt; Extends Iran Sanctions Waiver

By John Lee.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured) has welcomed the formation of a new government in Iraq following months of instability.

In a phone call with the new Prime Minister, Mustafa Kadhemi, he said that the US would not enforce sanctions on Iraq buying electricity from Iran for 120 days "as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success".

The full statement via Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said:‎

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Secretary Pompeo welcomed Prime Minister Kadhimi's new government, which was confirmed by the Council of Representatives.

"They discussed the urgent hard work ahead for the Iraqi government, implementing reforms, addressing COVID-19, and fighting corruption. In support of the new government the United States will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success.

"The Secretary and the Prime Minister also discussed the upcoming U.S.-Iraq strategic dialogue and how they look forward to working together to provide the Iraqi people the prosperity and security they deserve."

(Source: US State Dept)

US Renews Waiver for Iraq to Import Electricity from Iran

By John Lee.

Washington has renewed a waiver for Iraq to continue importing Iranian electricity, a US State Department official said.

"The Secretary granted this brief extension of the waiver to allow time for the formation of a credible government," the official said, referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and added that the waiver would expire on May 26, according to Reuters.

Washington has repeatedly extended the exemption for Baghdad to use crucial Iranian energy supplies for its power grid, for periods of 90 or 120 days.

Earlier this month, Iraq's president named intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister-designate, the third person tapped to lead Iraq in just 10 weeks as it struggles to replace a government that fell last year after months of deadly protests.

"Once that government is in place, the Secretary will reassess whether to renew the waiver and for how long," the US State Department official said.

The official added that the waiver applied only to electricity and referred to the Treasury Department for transactions related to Iranian natural gas imports.

Electricity Minister Luay al-Khatteeb told S&P Global Platts last week that Iraq needs three to four years to complete projects that would provide the necessary natural gas for its power stations.

(Sources: Tasnim, Reuters, S&P Global)

Iraq Reduces Energy Imports from Iran by 75%

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq reduces energy imports from Iran by 75% 

Iraq has reduced its electricity and gas imports from Iran by 75 per cent after achieving a strong level of self-sufficiency in its own energy production, Al Arab news website reported on Monday.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Al-Abadi, said that the current electricity production in Iraq covers most of the country's needs.

He explained that most governorates have electricity supplies all day, every day, apart from Salahuddin and Ninawa, which have power for around 20 hours per day.

Al-Abadi noted that the improvement in electricity supply is largely down to the new electricity plants coming into operation.

Iraq, he added, uses 13,400 Megawatts, of which 4,500 Megawatts used to be imported from Iran.