BGC Exports first Semi-Refrigerated LPG Shipment

By John Lee.

Basrah Gas Company (BGC) has exported its first semi-refrigerated liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) shipment from Umm Qasr jetty.

The General Manager of BGC, Malcolm Mays, said the export of the first shipment of semi-refrigerated liquid gas is a great and historical achievement for Basra Gas Company, noting that this came as a result of working hard and continuously to achieve the strategic goal by rehabilitating Umm Qasr jetty and equipping it with chiller units to be used in export operations.

He added that BGC is able to load and export both types of liquid gas: pressurized and semi-refrigerated, through vessels, saying that this step gives the flexibility and the opportunity to triple exports globally via tankers, as it will double the exported quantity per shipment.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Two Injured in Rocket Attack at Khor Mor Gas Field

Dana Gas (PJSC) informs the market that, a small rocket landed yesterday afternoon within the Khor Mor block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

No damage occurred and production operations continued normally without interruption.

Two contractor staff were treated for minor injuries related to the blast but have returned to work.

The company is cooperating with local security services who are conducting a full investigation and the KRG has enhanced measures and security forces in the area.

(Source: Dana Gas)

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KRG to set up two New Oil Companies

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is reportedly setting up two new companies to manage its energy resources.

A new Kurdistan Regional Oil Company (KROC) is to specialise in oil exploration, and the Kurdistan Oil Marketing Organization (KOMO) will concern itself with marketing of the oil.

The development comes as Erbil and Baghdad continue to vie for control of the oil industry in Iraqi Kurdistan.

More here and here.

(Sources: Reuters, Shafaaq)

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KRG files Civil suit against Baghdad Minister of Oil

By John Lee.

The Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has filed a civil suit against the Baghdad Minister of Oil, accusing him of sending emails and letters with the intention of intimidating international oil companies (IOCs) and interfering with the contractual rights of the IOCs and the KRG.

The KRG has also filed a criminal complaint against a Director General in the Baghdad Ministry of Oil for allegedly abusing his power and position by intimidating and harassing the IOCs working in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

This follows a series of summonses issued to the IOCs by a court in Baghdad, relating to their operations in Kurdistan Region.

Full statement from the KRG:

On 19 May 2022, a commercial court sitting in Al Karkh, Baghdad, acted at the request of the Minister of Oil in Baghdad and purported to issue summonses to international oil companies (IOCs) operating within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Those IOCs - which include Addax, DNO, Genel, Gulf Keystone, HKN, Shamaran, and WesternZagros - operate in the Kurdistan Region in accordance with the Kurdistan Region's Oil and Gas Law (No. 22 of 2007), which was issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government in accordance with its powers under the Constitution of Iraq.

These court summonses are the latest in a series of illegal actions taken by the Minister of Oil and his staff under the current caretaker government in Baghdad. These illegal actions are apparently based upon a ruling by a court in Baghdad that calls itself the "Federal Supreme Court". This so-called "Federal Supreme Court" issued a politically motivated decision on 15 February 2022, which purported to declare the 2007 Oil and Gas Law void.

No court in Baghdad has the authority to make such a declaration. On 28 February 2022, the President of the Kurdistan Region, together with the presidents of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Kurdistan Regional Government, issued a statement rejecting the 15 February decision. On 4 June 2022, the Judicial Council, the highest judicial institution in the Kurdistan Region, issued a statement upholding the validity of the 2007 Oil and Gas Law. The Council noted that Article 92(2) of the Constitution of Iraq requires that the Iraqi Council of Representatives pass a law to establish an Iraqi Federal Supreme Court. No such law has ever been enacted. Iraq, therefore, does not have a constitutionally established Federal Supreme Court. The court that issued the 15 February 2022 opinion purporting to invalidate the 2007 Oil and Gas Law has no constitutional authority to do so. On the contrary, the issuance of the 2007 Oil and Gas Law was entirely authorised under the Constitution of Iraq. As such, legally, the Oil and Gas Law remains in full force.

On 2 June 2022, the Kurdistan Regional Government filed a criminal complaint against a Director General in the Baghdad Ministry of Oil for abusing his power and position by intimidating and harassing the IOCs working in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In the view of the Kurdistan Regional Government, emails and letters sent to the IOCs undertaking work in the Kurdistan Region by that Director General were sent with the intention of intimidating the IOCs and interfering with the contractual rights of the IOCs and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The contracts entered into between the IOCs and the Kurdistan Regional Government are entirely in accordance with the 2007 Oil and Gas Law.

On 5 June 2022, the Erbil Court of Investigation ruled that the lawsuits filed in the Al Karkh commercial court against the IOCs must be brought to the Erbil Court to be examined as evidence in this criminal complaint. The Erbil Court also ruled that any lawsuits in the Al Karkh court must be delayed for this purpose, and that named criminal defendants, including the Baghdad Minister of Oil, must attend the criminal hearing in Erbil on 22 June 2022. Iraqi law (Article 26 of Criminal Procedural Law No. 23 of the year 1979) requires that civil proceedings cannot take place while a related criminal investigation is underway. In addition, Article 38 of Civil Procedural Law No. 83 of the year 1969 states that any civil proceeding against the IOCs must take place in the Kurdistan Region, where the IOCs are registered and operate.

Furthermore, on 5 June 2022 the Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government filed a civil suit against the Baghdad Minister of Oil. In the view of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Minister is liable under applicable civil law provisions for sending emails and letters with the intention of intimidating the IOCs and interfering with the contractual rights of the IOCs and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

(Source: KRG Ministry of Natural Resources)

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Genel Energy CEO Steps Down

Genel Energy has announced that after discussions with the Board following the recent AGM, at which Bill Higgs did not receive the required 50% majority of votes in favour of re-election as a Director, he has agreed to step down as CEO of the Company with immediate effect.

Dr Higgs will take up a role as Special Advisor to the Chairman until 1 September 2022, to support an orderly transition, after which he will remain as a consultant to the Company.

Paul Weir, COO, has been appointed as Interim CEO with immediate effect. A search for a suitable replacement is now ongoing and an announcement will be made in due course.

Paul joined Genel in January 2020, having worked for more than 30 years in upstream E&P with experience in the North Sea, South East Asia and Africa. Before joining Genel, Paul was Group Head of Operations and Safety at Tullow Oil, having previously spent 13 years at Talisman as VP Production and Exploration, and also worked in a variety of roles at Nippon Oil, Elf, Occidental, and Total.

David McManus, Chair, said:

"Bill worked tirelessly at Genel and oversaw a positive change in the strategic direction, operational capability, and culture of the Company. He steps down as CEO with Genel well positioned to utilise our robust balance sheet and material cash generation to fund growth and underpin our material and progressive dividend for the long-term.

"Paul has been a key contributor to the transition of Genel into an operator with interests in more producing assets than any other IOC in Kurdistan, and, given his longstanding operational experience with a range of world class companies, is perfectly placed to lead the team as it seeks to progress its next phase of growth."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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PM announces new Ministry of Electricity and Alternative Energy

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Prime Minister has announced that the Ministry of Electricity is to be renamed the "Ministry of Electricity and Alternative Energy".

At a press conference in Baghdad, Mustafa al-Kadhimi (pictured) said it is unreasonable to build gas power stations when there is not enough gas available, so the new ministry will actively seek alternative power sources.

In the past, he said, power stations were built, "in an absurd manner, without planning and without knowledge."

He also referred to the country's electrical interconnection projects with the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, which will provide power until Iraq reaches self-sufficiency.

Addressing the annual shortage of electricity during the very hot summer season, he said that last year's production of 21,000 MW will not be achieved this year, due to the reduction in gas supply from Iran.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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KRG Judicial Council disputes Supreme Court ruling over Oil

By John Lee.

The Judicial Council of Kurdistan Region of Iraq has issued a statement saying that the provisions of its oil law (Law No. 22, 2007) do not violate the Iraqi Constitution and therefore should be recognized as "standing laws".

The statement follows months of dispute between Baghdad and Erbil regarding control of the energy resources in Iraqi Kurdistan, with Iraq's Federal Supreme Court ruling in February that sales of oil and gas by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), independently of the central government in Baghdad, were unconstitutional.

Full statement from KRG:

"The Kurdistan Regional Government's tenure on the issue of oil and gas exploration on its territory is in accordance with the 2005 Iraqi Constitution. The provisions of Law No. 22, 2007, issued by the Kurdistan Regional Parliament, do not violate the Iraqi Constitution and therefore should be recognized as standing laws.

"The oil and gas sector do not fall under the exclusive purview of the Federal Government of Iraq as stated in Article 110 of the Iraqi Constitution, underpinned by Article 112 of the Iraqi Constitution which states the Federal Government is to manage oil and gas exploration of discovered fields, in conjunction with regional governments and oil-producing provinces. Of that, revenues are supposed to be distributed equally among the population of Iraq.

"Article 112 refers to existing oil wells and fields prior to the ratification of the Constitution in 2005. As such, oil fields discovered in the Kurdistan Region since 2005 fall under the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Accordingly, the texts of the Kurdistan Regional Government's Oil and Gas Law No. 22, 2007, remain in line with the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution.

"Article 92(2) of the Constitution of Iraq requires that the Iraqi Council of Representatives pass a law to establish an Iraqi Federal Supreme Court. No such law has to date been enacted. Iraq, therefore, does not have a constitutionally established Federal Supreme Court. As such, the court that issued the 15 February 2022 opinion purporting to invalidate the Oil and Gas Law (No.22 of 2007) lacks the constitutional authority to do so and, consequentially, the Oil and Gas Law remains in full force as per the Iraqi Constitution."

Click here to view document from Judicial Council.

(Source: KRG)

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Saudi Arabia and Iraqi discuss Connecting Electricity Grids

By John Lee.

Iraq's Minister of Oil, Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail, has met with the Saudi Minister of Energy, HRH Abdulaziz bin Salman, to discuss connecting their respective electricity grids.

They also discussed enhanced energy cooperation between the two countries, and the work of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January to link their power grids.

(Source: Saudi Ministry of Energy)

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IOCs in Iraq need Oil Wealth to Trickle Down

From Amwaj Media. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Why foreign oil companies in Iraq need oil wealth to trickle down

Iraq's oil wealth is among the greatest on the planet.

Total proven crude reserves are estimated at 150 billion barrels, and daily output is over 4.6 million barrels-making it the fifth-largest producer in the world.

But much of this wealth does not trickle down, and that is perhaps paradoxically particularly the case in the oil-rich south.

The full report can be viewed here (registration required).

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Iraq Oil Revenues Hit New High

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for May of 102,303,020 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.300 million barrels per day (bpd), slightly down from the 3.380 million bpd exported in April.

The exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 98,946,914 barrels, while exports from the Kirkuk fields through the port of Ceyhan amounted to 3,002,133 barrels.

While not explicitly stated by the Ministry, these figures seem to imply that exports by road to Jordan totalled 353,973 barrels for the month.

Revenues for the month were $11.436 billion, at an average price of $111.79 per barrel.

April's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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