Work Starts at $594m Oil Processing Plant at Block 9

By John Lee.

The President of  the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) has laid the foundation stone for the $594-million crude oil processing plant at Block 9, within the Al-Fayha Oil Field in Basra Province.

Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail said that the development is important for the production of light oil, with a target for this project of up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, along with 135 mmscfd of gas at a future stage for electricity production.

Khaled Hamza, General Manager of Basra Oil Company (BOC), said the development of the field was started in 2014 by Kuwait Energy Company (KEC) and continued by the Chinese company UEG [United Energy Group] which acquired KEC, and that the first exploration well was drilled and the results were encouraging.

He stressed that the oil produced from the exploration Block 9 is one of the best types of oil globally.

The CEO of UEG, Sonk Yu [Song Yu, Chief Operation Officer??], said that laying the foundation stone for the development was an important moment for the company.

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, UEG)

The post Work Starts at $594m Oil Processing Plant at Block 9 first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq Pays another $380m Reparations to Kuwait

By John Lee.

The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) made available $380 million to the Government of the State of Kuwait towards the Commission's remaining claim with an outstanding award balance.

The United Nations Compensation Commission is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council. It was established in 1991 in accordance with Security Council resolutions 687 (1991) and 692 (1991) to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damages incurred by individuals, corporations, Governments and international organizations as a direct result of Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait (2 August 1990 to 2 March 1991).

The Commission received approximately 2.7 million claims and concluded its review of all claims in 2005. Approximately$52.4 billion was awarded to over 100 Governments and international organizations for distribution to the successful 1.5 million claims in all claim categories.

Successful claims are paid from the United Nations Compensation Fund which receives a percentage of the proceeds generated by the export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products. This rate was set at five per cent under Security Council resolution 1483 (2003) and reaffirmed in subsequent resolutions. Pursuant to Governing Council decision 276 adopted in November 2017, the percentage was set at 0.5 per cent for 2018, 1.5 per cent for 2019 and 3 per cent for 2020.

The rate will remain at 3 per cent until such time as the outstanding compensation has been paid in full. Payments are made on a quarterly basis utilizing all available funds in the Compensation Fund under Governing Council decision 267 (2009).

With today's payment, the Commission has paid $50.7 billion, leaving approximately $1.7 billion to be paid towards the outstanding claim. This category E claim was submitted by the Government of the State of Kuwait on behalf of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and awarded $14.7 billion in 2000 for oil production and sales losses as a result of damages to Kuwait's oil field assets. It represents the largest award by the Commission.

(Source: UNCC)

The post Iraq Pays another $380m Reparations to Kuwait first appeared on Iraq Business News.

KRG proposes new Minister of Natural Resources

By John Lee.

The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masrour Barzani, has nominated Dr. Kamal Atroshi to the post of Minister of Natural Resources, a position which includes responsibility for the oil and gas portfolio.

A statement from KRG spokesperson Dr. Jotiar Adil said, "It is our hope that the Kurdistan Parliament includes this topic in its next session and provides a vote of confidence".

According to his Linked-In profile, Dr al-Atroshi was educated in Iraq and France, and has worked extensively in the oil sector in Kuwait. He has held positions with the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), Gas & Oil Field Services Company (GOFSCO), and Total.

(Sources: Kurdistan Regional Government, Linked-In)

The post KRG proposes new Minister of Natural Resources first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq confirms first case of Coronavirus

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of the coronavirus (covid-19) in the country.

It said that an Iranian student had tested positive for the virus in Najaf.

The student is reported to have been immediately quarantined.

Following the announcement, Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA said that Kuwait’s civil aviation authority has suspended all its flights to and from Iraq.

The Kuwaiti Ports Authority has also banned the entry of ships from Iraq.

(Sources: Ministry of Health, Anadolu Agency, KUNA)

Low-cost From London to the Middle East

Jazeera Airways is to connect its Kuwait City base with London/Gatwick from October 27, opening the first new service between the UK and the Middle Eastern nation in 55 years. The low-cost carrier will fly daily services using Airbus A320neos.

In addition to serving Kuwait, passengers will be able to fly onwards to Dubai, Bahrain and Doha in the Arabian Gulf and to New Delhi in India. The link will be the first with the airline’s new premium economy product, which includes a 31in (79cm) seat pitch and a complementary meal, while business class offers a 33in (84cm) pitch, priority boarding and an in-flight meal.

Speaking of the milestone launch, the carrier’s chairman, Marwan Boodai, said: “Jazeera Airways has been building a great reputation in the Middle East in the low-cost airline sector, offering a strong alternative to the legacy airlines. We look forward to serving the UK market, and extending consumer choice to Kuwait and the Gulf, with our value proposition. This is a first an LCC in the Middle East will fly long-haul, using the A320neo aircraft.”

Michael Davenport MBE, British Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, said: “I am delighted to see Jazeera Airways launching this new service between Kuwait and Gatwick Airport, made possible by the new Air Services Agreement signed last year. It is really encouraging, as we mark the 120th Anniversary of the Kuwaiti-British Treaty of Friendship, to see more Kuwaitis visiting Britain and studying at British universities than ever before.”

The new 2,510nm (4,649km) link will not become the longest A320neo route when it begins in October. This distinction is currently held by S7 Airlines’ 2,840nm (5,270km) Moscow/Domodedovo-Tenerife/South connection.

Jazeera Airways currently operates a sole A320neo, 9K-CAQ (c/n 7396), which is understood to be configured with a two-class cabin seating 147 economy and 12 business class passengers. A second example, (c/n 9149, due to become 9K-CBC) was seen at Airbus’ Finkenwerder plant on July 31 in the carrier’s full livery, but without engines fitted. It is likely that this will be fitted with a three-class interior for the Gatwick service.

Schedules, subject to change:

Monday: J9001: KWI 08:40, LGW 12:45; J9002: LGW 13:55, KWI 23:15

Tuesday: J9001: KWI 08:40, LGW 12:45; J9002: LGW 13:45, KWI 23:05

Wednesday: J9001: KWI 08:40, LGW 12:45; J9002: LGW 13:45, KWI 23:05

Thursday: J9001: KWI 08:35, LGW 12:40; J9002: LGW 13:45, KWI 23:05

Friday: J9001: KWI 07:40, LGW 11:45; J9002: LGW 14:00, KWI 23:20

Saturday: J9001: KWI 11:00, LGW 15:05; J9002: LGW 16:40, KWI 02:00 (+1)

Sunday: J9001: KWI 06:45, LGW 10:50; J9002: LGW 12:35, KWI 21:55

Court approves Chinese Takeover of Kuwait Energy

Kuwait Energy has announces that the Royal Court of Jersey has approved the acquisition of the company by Gold Cheers Corporation Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Energy Group Limited (UEG), by means of a scheme of arrangement.

The consideration to be paid under the transaction will be US$477,248,630.20 which equates to a per share price of US$1.46400797821.

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to delivery of the Act of Court sanctioning the Scheme to the Registrar of Companies in Jersey. This is expected to occur on or before 22 March 2019 (the “Effective Date”), at which time the Scheme will become effective.

Payments to shareholders should be dispatched within 14 days of the Effective Date, as detailed in the scheme document dated 15 November 2018 relating to the Scheme.

In Iraq, Kuwait Energy has interests in the Mansuriya, Siba, and Block 9 fields.

(Source: Kuwait Energy)

Agreement Expected with Kuwait on Joint Oil Fields, Gas Exports

By John Lee.

Kuwait reportedly expects to reach agreement with Iraq on joint oil fields and the import of Iraqi gas by the end of this year.

KUNA quotes Kuwait’s Oil Minister and Minister of Electricity and Water Engineer, Bakheet Al-Rashidi, as saying:

“We are in the process of selecting a global consultant to study the joint fields project.”

(Source: KUNA)

Talks continuing on Iraq-Kuwait Electricity Link

By John Lee.

Talks are reportedly continuing to complete the electricity linkage between Iraq and Kuwait.

KUNA quotes Kuwait’s Oil Minister and Minister of Electricity and Water Engineer, Bakheet Al-Rashidi (pictured), as saying:

We expect that these negotiations will ultimately lead to linking Iraq’s electricity grid with the Gulf network and then link with Turkey and Europe on the long-term.

“We are always ready to help our brothers in Iraq, according to the instructions of the political leadership.”

(Source: KUNA)

Iraq Plans to take over Mansuriyah Gas Field

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) as ordered Iraq’s state-owned oil companies to devise an urgent plan to develop the Mansuriyah (Mansouriya) gas field, following what he described as the delay and the failure of foreign companies to start developing the field.

The field, in Diyala province, was awarded in the third licensing round in 2010 to a consortium of international oil companies consisting of: Turkey’s TPAO (37.5%), Iraq’s Oil Exploration Company (25%), Kuwait Energy (KEC) (22.5%), and the Korean Gas Corporation (Kogas) (15%).

It holds around 127 billion cubic metres of gas. They committed to produce 320 million standard cubic feet of gas a day for $7 per barrel of oil equivalent produced, the maximum the government would agree to pay.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)