Liftings underway at Sarta

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced that, following first oil production last week, first liftings have taken place from the Sarta field (Genel 30% working interest).

According to a statement from the company, the Sarta-3 well is producing at an initial rate of over 5,000 bopd, with an API gravity of c.27 degrees, in line with expectations at this stage.

Tanker loadings are now underway, with oil being transported to Khurmala for offloading into the export pipeline.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Iraq cuts Oil Exports in November

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced initial oil exports for November of 81,262,376 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.709 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 2.876 million bpd exported in October.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 78,190,444 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,819,169 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 252,763 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $3.395 billion at an average price of $41.778 per barrel.

October's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Dana Gas announces Record Gas Deliveries for Khor Mor

By John Lee.

UAE-based Dana Gas has announced that the production of sales gas from Pearl Petroleum's Khor Mor Gas Plant in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) reached a record level of 418MMscf/d on 18 November 2020.

Dana Gas, which owns a 35% stake in Pearl Petroleum, registered a 6% year on year increase in production during the third quarter of 2020 to 32,400 boepd, driven by the completion of a new plant bypass project in August.

Dr Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO of Dana Gas, commented:

"We are very pleased that Pearl Petroleum has achieved this important milestone at Khor Mor, which is the result of our continued efforts to maximise plant production. This important achievement, delivered under difficult conditions due to the global pandemic, was the result of the installation of the plant bypass in August combined with an increase in gas demand due to seasonal weather conditions.

"It is also testament to the tireless efforts of our staff at the plant to optimise plant efficiencies and reliability.

"We are also very pleased to announce that after a delay in the implementation of the first 250 MMscf/d gas processing train following border closures and travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19, that we anticipate recommencing civil engineering works on location in the next few weeks.

"All the parties working on the Khor Mor project are fully committed to executing the expansion project as quickly and as safely as possible. We now expect first gas from the project's first gas processing train in Q1 2023 and we are also examining ways to reduce the schedule further. When implemented, the project is expected to add between $175 million and $200 million annually to Dana Gas's revenues."

(Source: Dana Gas)

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1.9m Iraqi Children to be Vaccinated against Polio

More than 1.9 million Iraqi children in high risk governorates to be vaccinated against polio

On Sunday, Iraqi health authorities, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF began a mass polio vaccination campaign targeting more than 1.9 million children under the age of five.

The campaign will be conducted in locations across Iraq, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which, like previous disease outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies has disrupted access to essential health services, including routine immunization. The campaign is urgent because even brief interruptions of vaccination programmes leave cohorts of infants unprotected, making outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, like polio and measles more likely.

"The complexity of ensuring that children in Iraq remain safe from vaccine-preventable diseases while at the same time responding to COVID-19 is enormous, but we must continue to do all that we can to protect children against avoidable suffering and death caused by vaccine-preventable disease. WHO and its partners are working past the COVID-19 challenges by ensuring continuity of vaccination efforts against childhood threats such as polio" said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO Representative for Iraq.

"The Oral polio vaccine will be safely delivered both door to door and at fixed points in health facilities to ensure that we reach all children under the age of five regardless of their previous vaccination status. We want to make sure that no no child is left behind, no matter where they are," added Dr Adham.

WHO supported the development of micro plans to guide vaccination teams day by day, mobilized and trained 862 supervisors and more than 4294 vaccinators to carry out the campaign. In addition, it is also paying all the vaccination costs including transportation and other incentives to ensure that all children are reached.

In order to ensure that the appropriate precautions are taken to maintain COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) during the campaign, UNICEF trained all vaccinators in IPC skills and equipped many of them with personal protective equipment in order to ensure their safety and the safety of the target communities.

In addition, UNICEF donated the entire stock of polio vaccines for the campaign and has provided the equipment needed to keep vaccine doses at the right temperature, thereby ensuring their effectiveness. It also developed educational materials such as informational videos and posters, to raise awareness about the importance of immunization and encourage caregivers to vaccinate children. In addition, UNICEF trained 400 community volunteers to raise awareness, track rumours, and counter misinformation with accurate information about the vaccine and its benefits.

"Along with our partners in government, we have a responsibility to make sure that communities are engaged, aware that vaccines are the most cost-effective and safe way of protecting children against many diseases, and that they are mobilized to participate in vaccine delivery programmes. Every child born has a right to a healthy life," explained Ms Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF's Representative in Iraq.

The five-day campaign will target children in 46 districts in sixteen governorates, including Baghdad (Baghdad-Resafa and Baghdad-Karkh), Babylon, Anbar, Dahuk, Erbil, Kerbala, Kirkuk Missan,Muthanna, Thi-Qar, Najaf, Ninewa, Salah Al-Din , Suleymaniya, Wassit and Basra. The locations were selected based on the health risks of children in each, polio surveillance indicators, children's immunisation profiles and existing gaps. Other factors considered included the population numbers, geography and environmental risks.

(Source: UN)

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UN “Gravely Concerned” about IDP Camp Closures

Statement from the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Irena Vojackova-Sollorano (pictured), on IDP camp closures in Iraq:

I am gravely concerned about the thousands of civilians who have been moved from camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Iraq in the last six weeks and have not yet found new homes.

The Government of Iraq has closed or consolidated 11 such camps and reclassified two as informal sites since mid-October, affecting more than 27,000 people. An estimated 78 per cent of those are women and children who were already vulnerable. Their wellbeing is of particular concern in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of winter.

This is not about camp closures. It is about what will happen to those Iraqis, their safety, their wellbeing and their future. Two-thirds of affected people have reached their district of origin, but many are not in their traditional homes, according to United Nations data. About 30 per cent of those returnees do not have safe or dignified housing and remain highly vulnerable.

The other one- third of people affected have been unable to return to their places of origin. Social tensions and insecurity, the presence of unexploded ordnances and explosive remnants of war, and the lack of civil documentation, housing, services, cash assistance and livelihood opportunities remain barriers to their return.

I am also concerned by indications that more Iraqi families could face similar situations if the remaining five camps administered by the Government of Iraq are closed before the end of the year. The United Nations shares the Government's goal of ending the displacement crisis in Iraq but reiterates that the return of internally displaced people needs to be voluntary, safe, dignified, and informed, with conditions in place in advance in their areas of origin to enable reintegration and ensure sustainable solutions.

The United Nations stands by its commitment to support the Government of Iraq in facilitating and achieving longer term durable solutions for all vulnerable displaced and returnees in Iraq, including by supporting social cohesion measures.

Vulnerable displaced populations need more active support to rebuild their lives in dignity and in accordance with the fundamental standards of human rights. They need a suitable environment for a sustainable return and structured support programmes towards durable solutions. It is essential to continue the efforts to build the resilience of communities hosting IDPs as well as those receiving returnees.

Supporting these populations contribute to Iraq's future stability and success. Together with our national and international humanitarian partners, we are closely following the matter, will continue to support and stand ready to provide further assistance when required, in accordance with humanitarian principles.

(Source: UN)

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Tabib Baghdad secures more Funding

By John Lee.

An online platform that connects Iraqi patients to doctors has reportedly raised a six-figure sum in its latest round of fundraising.

According to Startup MGZN, Tabib Baghdad raised the money through the recently-launched Iraqi Angel Investors Network, led by KAPITA and Nass Al Iraq.

It adds that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) gave a grant of $20,000 towards this round, as part of its support to the Angel Network and the Iraqi startup ecosystem, as part of its "ICT for Youth in Iraq" scheme.

Tabib Baghdad started operations in Baghdad in 2018, and plans to cover the rest of Iraq in the coming year.

More here.

(Source: Startup MGZN)

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Iraqi Woman Sets Record, Calls Attention To Iraqi Children

Mais Abousy Sets Record as First Woman to Do Indoor Iron Distance Race, Calls Attention To Iraqi Children

Iraqi-American lawyer, Mais Abousy, set a record on Saturday, November 7, 2020, as the first known woman in the world to complete an indoor Iron Distance Race, using the feat to raise awareness of Iraq's orphans and vulnerable children.

Abousy's 140.6 mile indoor Iron Distance Race was a self-curated race at the St. James sports complex in the Washington, DC, area, featuring the theme "Suffer. Learn. Change."   The race is a precursor to Mais's anticipated 140.6 mile attempt in Iraq 2022.   The November 7th race - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.3 mile run - lasted 13 hours.

The race featured the US national anthem at the start and the Iraqi national anthem at the finish.  For the last mile of the race, she was joined by the State Department's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Affairs Joey Hood and the Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Iraq in Washington DC M. H. Al-Fityan.

Mais was also joined for portions of the race by Iraqi-American brothers, Yaseen Eldadah (below left) who joined the swim and Elias Eldadah (also ICF Youth Liaison, D.C.) for the bike ride (below right) joined by their father, Dr. Zayd Eldadah.

Also joining Mais in the race was Dr. Nizar Hussein (swim), Haidar Al-Kindi (bike), and Zeena Rahman, President of Enabling Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) (run).

Mais Abousy was featured in a Washington, DC WJLA ABC 7 TV news interview and in a pre-race article in the "Washingtonian" magazine where she shared more of her story.    Abousy has previously run several marathons and a triathlon to highlight the cause of Iraq's children.

The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) expresses its deepest gratitude to Mais Abousy for being a champion for Iraq's voiceless orphans and vulnerable children.

*    *   *

ICF intervenes with love and hope in the lives of children at risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation by criminals, traffickers, and extremists.  ICF provides legal protection, psychosocial services, nutrition, and education to orphans, street kids, and other vulnerable children.  For more information or to donate, email liz@iraqichildren.org or visit  www.iraqichildren.org

(Source: ICF)

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Genel announces First Oil at Sarta

Genel Energy has announced first oil production from the Sarta field (Genel 30% working interest), less than 21 months after the acquisition of the stake was completed.

Production has begun at Sarta with first oil flowing from the Sarta-3 well into the Early Production Facility.

The Sarta-2 workover operation is on track to be completed in December and the well onstream from January. As previously stated, it is expected that a stable production level will be reached in Q1 2021.

Preparations for the 2021 appraisal drilling campaign, which is targeting a material portion of the 250 MMbbls of contingent resources in the Jurassic, are ongoing.

Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"First oil at Sarta is an important strategic and operational milestone for Genel, not least given the challenges presented by COVID-19 in 2020. In that context, progressing Sarta to first oil has been a tremendous achievement and a testament to the alignment and co-operation of the field partners and contractors.

"Already the only multi-licence producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the addition of Sarta further diversifies our production and cash flows. We look forward to the results of our well programme in 2021, which is designed to further appraise the potential of the field. This will enable us to work with Chevron to optimise the value of the asset in the years ahead."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Iraq Finalises Oil Exports for Oct

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced finalised oil exports for October of 89,153,932 barrels, giving an average for the month of 2.876 million barrels per day (bpd), up from the 2.613 million bpd exported in September.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 86,023,204 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 2,867,637 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 263,091 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $3.457 billion at an average price of $38.77 per barrel.

September's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Germany’s New EUR 10m Contribution to Iraq

New €10m contribution from Germany expands UNDP Iraq's Coronavirus response into 15 governorates

German Government's KfW Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Government of Iraq, have today signed a EUR 10 million agreement (US$11.75 million) to support Iraq's response to COVID-19.

The contribution was made by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with financing provided through KfW. Over the past five years the German Government has been a continuous supporter of UNDP activities in Iraq and committed so far more than EUR 300 million through KfW Development Bank for this purpose.

The German Government also supports Iraq in its efforts to address the immediate and medium-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and has set up an emergency window under which funds are provided, including this contribution to UNDP.

This contribution allows UNDP to extend its COVID-19 response measures into 15 governorates. It makes Germany the tenth partner to contribute to UNDP's COVID-19 response, taking the total raised to approximately $38.9 million.

Measures under UNDP Iraq's response include increasing the testing capacity of laboratories, providing personal protective equipment to healthcare workers, building isolation units for infected patients and undertaking assessments to drive post-COVID-19 recovery strategies.

"The spread of COVID-19 is still taking its toll on Iraqi communities across the country. Thanks to Germany's generous contribution, we can continue boosting Iraq's health infrastructure by constructing an extra three isolation wards in addition to the 13 that have either been completed or are underway," says Resident Representatives of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

H. E. the German Ambassador, Dr. Ole Diehl, especially emphasizes the multi-faceted approach of UNDP's COVID-19 response measure. "COVID-19 is a catastrophe, not only insofar as it destroys human health and lives. It also causes people to lose their jobs, enterprises to lose their revenue and families to literally lose the food on their table. These possible outcomes of COVID-19 require a strong and differentiated response mirrored in this program. Germany continues to support Iraq in its fight against COVID-19. This is why we have launched an extensive global COVID-19 emergency program, under which also a sizeable COVID-19 response window is allocated for Iraq. This pandemic can only be contained with the collective effort of the international community and Germany will play its part."

"Germany is one of UNDP Iraq's largest contributors, and we are extremely grateful for their strong and continued support, particularly during the pandemic," adds Ms Ali Ahmad.

KfW Development Bank and UNDP enjoy a strong cooperation over the years. "On behalf of the German Government, we are very pleased to further extend our cooperation with UNDP and assist Iraq in its efforts to address the current challenges arising through COVID-19," says Director of KfW Office Iraq, Dr. Anna Janke.

The contribution will be channelled through UNDP Iraq's Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS).

Germany joins Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and USAID as key partners supporting UNDP Iraq's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which supports medical facilities in Anbar, Babil, Basra, Dhi Qar, Diwaniya, Diyala, Duhok, Erbil, Karbala, Kirkuk, Maysan, Muthana, Najaf, Ninewa and Salah Al Din.

(Source: UN)

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