KRG issues new COVID-19 regulations

The Kurdistan Region's High Committee for Combating COVID-19 met on Tuesday and issued the following directives as part of the Kurdistan Regional Government's efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic:

  1. The vaccination deadline for public service employees (civil and military) will be extended to 20 January 2022. Any employee who fails to adhere to the directives will face disciplinary measures according to general health laws.
  2. COVID-19 tests will be administered at border crossings to people entering the Kurdistan Region, including those with COVID-19 Vaccination Cards. Entrance will only be given to those who can provide a negative result from a valid COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
  3. The Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs will issue special regulations regarding funerals in the Kurdistan Region, in coordination with relevant administrations.
  4. Tourist groups must provide negative results from a valid COVID-19 test within 48-hour of arrival or present valid Vaccination Cards.
  5. All citizens, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a mask when indoors for any public space (e.g., Government offices, businesses, restaurants, banks, and others) and adhere to social distancing regulations.
  6. Starting 1 February 2022, entrance to public spaces (e.g., Government offices, stores, restaurants, malls, event halls, businesses, and others) will be denied to those who cannot produce a negative result from a valid test taken within the past 48 hours or a COVID-19 Vaccination Card.

(Source: KRG)

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Genel Suspends Drilling Ops on QD-2 well at Qara Dagh

Genel Energy has announced that drilling operations on the QD-2 well at Qara Dagh (40% working interest and operator) have been suspended.

As previously stated, the well had been side-tracked in response to encountering more complex geology above the target reservoir than expected.

Two further side-tracks have been initiated, but the licence partners have now concluded that it is impractical to continue the drilling operations from this wellbore in an attempt to reach the primary objective because of insurmountable technical problems. The decision has therefore been taken to suspend QD-2, with the minimum work obligation satisfied.

Licence partners Genel and Chevron will conduct a thorough evaluation of the QD-2 well and its results in 2022 to inform next steps on the licence.

Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said:

"This has been a very challenging operation, and the decision to suspend drilling at this stage is prudent. It is of course not the outcome that we wanted, but the geological case for Qara Dagh remains intact and attractive.

"We will work with Chevron to ascertain the best way forward on the licence. In the meantime we will continue working with the community on our social initiatives, as we retain our commitment to the region."

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Results of Iraq Women Integrated Social and Health Survey

Ministry of Planning, UNFPA launch results of the second Iraq Women Integrated Social and Health Survey

The Ministry of Planning, the Central Statistical Organization and UNFPA have launched the results of the second Iraq Women Integrated Social and Health (IWISH) survey, conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning at the Kurdistan Regional Government - Kurdistan Region Statistics Office and with funding from Sweden.

The survey addresses women issues throughout all ages and covers various sectors such as women empowerment, health, reproductive health, violence against women and other relevant social and health dimensions to establish a comprehensive database.

It offers integrated data that identifies the progress made and the gaps in the economic, social, and health situation of women in Iraq in comparison to the results of IWISH I, conducted ten years ago.

Speaking at the event, Dr Maher Johan, Deputy Minister of Planning, emphasised the importance of data and statistics in programming and policy development, reiteration the Ministry's determination to conduct the Population & Housing Census before the end of 2022:

"Evidence-based policies are the only way for us to achieve our commitments to the International Conference on Population & Development in Nairobi and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals".

Dr Rita Columbia, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, commented on the survey, saying:

"UNFPA will continue to provide technical assistance in collecting, analysing and using reliable population data to ensure girls and women's rights and needs are a priority for the Government of Iraq. The findings will enable the development of people-centred policies enabling women to have equal opportunities and exercise their reproductive rights".

Highlights of the IWISH results can be found through this link and presentation in Arabic.

(Source: UN)

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Jiyad: Iraq’s Oil Licensing Rounds, Ten Years On

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq Oil Licenses Rounds - Views of the Architect and the Technocrat, Ten Years On

Petroleum licensing rounds, 2009-2010, are the most significant and impacting development that took place in post 2003 upstream petroleum and they manifest a grand opining for big push strategy.

These four bid rounds would make Iraq a game-changer with a total production plateau target of more than 12 million barrels daily (mbd) by 2017 from mostly supper giant and giant oilfields with a combined 68% of the country's proven reserves.

Number of directly contracted international oil companies (IOCs) exceeds 15, belonging to 12 countries including the five permanent members of the UN Security council. The governing modality is a long term service contract, a uniquely hybrid type, with a duration of ca. 30 years each.

The issue, i.e., the licensing rounds, has been and still is divisive and those standing against the bid rounds personalize the debate and were persistent in their opposition to the extent that they managed to introduce legal obligations to revise them.

That concerted anti efforts succeeded in forcing the Ministry of Oil (MoO), in 2018, to premised its fifth bid round on "profit-sharing contracts, which is the monetary side of production-sharing contract; MoO was, obviously, ill-advised and badly too.

Click here to download the full report in pdf format.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq's Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad's biography here.

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Iraq Oil Exports Flat for December

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for December of 101,579,927 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.277 million barrels per day (bpd), almost equal to the 3.273 million bpd exported in November.

The exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 98,570,290 barrels; we are still awaiting details of exports from Kirkuk, and via road to Jordan.

Revenues for the month were $7.037 billion, from which we calculate an an average price of $69.28 per barrel, in contrast to the "more than 72 dollars" stated by the Ministry.

November's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Agreement Signed for Al-Faw Refinery Project

By John Lee.

The preliminary principles agreement for the Al-Faw investment refinery project has been signed in Baghdad.

The refinery will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, while the petrochemical complex will be able to produce 3 million tons [per annum?].

The Minister of Oil, Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail, said that this project will enhance the role of Iraq in manufacturing and petrochemical industries and contribute to sustainable development, adding that this contract is valued at 7-8 billion dollars.

The contract was signed by the Director General of South Refineries Company (SRC) Hussam Hussein Wali,  on behalf of the Ministry of Oil, and Yu Fang Chunk, General Manager of Hualu, on behalf of the Chinese side.

Hualu Engineering & Technology is majority controlled by China National Chemical Engineering Company (CNCEC), and describes itself as "an international engineering company proficient in providing project services such as investment and financing, consulting, technology research and development, engineering design, procurement, construction management, commissioning supervision, and plant operation and maintenance."

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, Hualu)

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Iraq Finalises November Oil Exports

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for November of 98,192,317 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.273 million barrels per day (bpd), up from the 3.120 million bpd exported in October.

The exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to approximately 95,860,149 barrels; while exports from the Kirkuk fields through the port of Ceyhan amounted to 2,032,685 barrels. Although not stated explicitly, this seems to imply exports to Jordan by truck 299,483 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $7.611 billion at an average price of $77.510 per barrel.

October's export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Genel Energy appoints new Non-Executive Director

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced the appointment of Yetik Mert (pictured) as an Independent Non-Executive Director, with immediate effect.

Yetik has almost 40 years' technical, commercial, business development, and general management experience, including holding executive and non-executive Directorship roles across the energy utility and industrial sectors in MENA, CEE and the USA.

Yetik is currently serving as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Remuneration, Governance and Nomination Committees on the Boards of Turkish companies Cimsa Cimento Sanayi ve Ticaret AS and Afyon Cimento Sanayi Turk AS (Sabancı Holding Group Companies), which operate in the industrial construction sector.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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Al Majal Signs Agreement with Iraq Drilling Company (IDC)

Al Majal Signs a Partnership Agreement with Iraq Drilling Company (IDC)

Al Majal has signed a three-year partnership agreement with Iraq Drilling Company (IDC).

The agreement aims to develop IDC's technical teams and to qualify its specialized maintenance workshops in accordance with international standards.

In an online statement published by IDC, the company said that the agreement incorporates the joint cooperation in providing services that cover blowout preventers (BOPs), top drive systems, inspection and certification of equipment in accordance with API standards, in addition to coring services, gyro and EMMS services, valves and valves systems, fishing and downhole services, bottom hole assembly (BHA) services.

(Source: Al Majal)

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A Christmas Gift for Iraqi Children

A message from the Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF):

Dear friends of Iraqi children,

Need a holiday gift idea for family, friends, employees? Need to increase your year-end tax-deductible donations? We can help!

Make a gift in honor of someone special, and we will send you our two beautiful digital ICF Christmas cards, which you can share by email, or you can print out at home.

These cards are a special token for your gift, designed specially for ICF this year. Read more about our Christmas cards below, and please consider making a year-end contribution here:

Iraqi Children Foundation Special Christmas Cards for 2021:

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