China “the Only Winner” in this Huge Iraqi Oil Field

Writing in Oil Price, Simon Watkins that the recent approval of the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC)'s acquisition of ExxonMobil's 32.7 percent stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field is likely to leave China delighted, the U.S. irritated, and Iraq's oil industry still unable to achieve any of its key oil output goals.

Click here to read the full article.

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How Corruption Erodes Healthcare in Iraq

By Mac Skelton and Abdulameer Mohsin Hussein, for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

Medicine Under Fire - How Corruption Erodes Healthcare in Iraq

The April and July 2021 hospital fires in Nasiriya and Baghdad left hundreds dead, adding insult to injury for a medical system that had already buckled under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why did these deadly fires transpire?

In the media, journalists highlighted a lengthy series of contributing factors leading to the tragedy, including flimsy and highly flammable construction materials, the explosion of mismanaged oxygen tanks, electrical shorts, and a lack of fire safety equipment.

Underlying these defects, ordinary Iraqis pointed to a deeper cause: pervasive corruption in the healthcare sector. Corruption, they alleged, explained why it was that an oil-rich country had not built and maintained safe and secure health facilities.

This preliminary paper looks to the tragic phenomenon of mass-casualty hospital fires in Iraq's COVID-19 wards to kickstart a larger policy-oriented conversation on the political drivers, key mechanisms, and human costs of corruption in the healthcare sector.

Broadly speaking, the research contends that political parties in control of the healthcare system compromise the safety and efficacy of both public and private hospitals by systematically evading quality controls and maximizing profits from medical supply chains at all costs.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung)

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KRG hits back at Genel Energy Claims

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has responded to the statement on Friday by Genel Energy regarding the production-sharing contracts (PSCs) at Bina Bawi and Miran.

The KRG strongly denies that it is in repudiatory breach of the PSCs, and denies that Genel is entitled to any compensation.

It adds that it will vigorously defend any claim that is brought by Genel, and intends to pursue its own counterclaims for damages resulting from Genel's renunciation of the PSCs.

The full statement from KRG follows:

On 10 December 2021, the Kurdistan Regional Government received a letter from a subsidiary of Genel Energy plc ("Genel"). In this letter, Genel confirmed that it did not intend to continue to perform its obligations under the Bina Bawi and Miran PSCs, and purported to terminate the PSCs with immediate effect. The Government understands that Genel Energy plc has made the same assertions in a public press release dated 10 December 2021.

Genel's letter and the related press release were prompted by the Government's issuance on 5 December 2021 of formal Notices of Termination, which validly terminated the PSCs subject only to the completion of the dispute resolution process set out in the PSCs.

Genel has sought to justify its termination of the PSCs by wrongly asserting that the Government is in repudiatory breach. The Government strongly denies that it is in repudiatory breach of the PSCs. Genel has also falsely claimed that the Government stated it would not perform its obligations under the PSCs. On the contrary, the Government has always acted in accordance with its obligations under the PSCs, and has consistently communicated the same to Genel.

However, Genel's 10 December 2021 communication confirmed unequivocally that Genel had renounced the PSCs, and the Government has therefore confirmed today to Genel that the PSCs are validly terminated with immediate effect.

The Government regrets that Genel has failed to offer any credible proposals to develop the Bina Bawi and Miran oil and gas fields, and notes that this failure has significantly delayed the ability of the Government to develop those fields on a timely basis.

The Government also notes Genel's public statement that it will pursue a substantial claim in international arbitration from the Government as a consequence of the termination of the PSCs. The Government strongly denies that Genel is entitled to any compensation. The Government will vigorously defend any claim that is brought by Genel, and intends to pursue its own counterclaims for damages resulting from Genel's renunciation of the PSCs.

(Source: KRG)

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Iraq Ratifies Paris Agreement on Climate Change

By John Lee.

Iraq has officially ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Agreement will enter into force for Iraq on 1st December 2021.

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty on climate change, adopted in 2015. It aims to keep the rise in mean global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celcius.

The official notification from the UN can be read here.

(Source: UN)

The post Iraq Ratifies Paris Agreement on Climate Change first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Fighting Climate Change “an Economic Opportunity” for Iraq

Writing in the Financial Times, Iraqi President Barham Salih argues that addressing climate change represents an opportunity for Iraq and the region to introduce measures that will leave them on a more solid foundation as they face the challenges of the decades to come.

Click here to read the full article (subscription required)

(Picture: Tigris river in central Baghdad; Credit: Christian Lindgren)

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The Massive Challenge of Climate Action in Iraq

By Lizzie Porter, for The New Statesman. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The massive challenge of climate action in oil-dependent Iraq

Oil provides 90 per cent of Iraq's revenue. Even as farmland dries up, fractured governance makes reform seem almost impossible.

Click here to read the full story.

The post The Massive Challenge of Climate Action in Iraq first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq to Invest in Greener Technology

By John Lee.

Iraq reportedly plans to invest $3 billion annually to transition from burning liquids to burning natural gas in its power plants.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Ali Allawi (pictured), told the Middle East Green Initiative Forum in Saudi Arabia that Iraq will also end gas flaring by 2025.

He also recommitted Iraq to working towards a greener future.

More here.

(Sources: The National, Arab News)

The post Iraq to Invest in Greener Technology first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq OKs talks with Chevron on Oil Exploration

By John Lee.

Iraq's Ministerial Energy Council approved discussions with US-based Chevron on the development of four exploration blocks in Dhi Qar.

The statement from Iraq's Ministry of Oil gave no further details, but the project had previously been discussed during Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's visit to the United States in August.

Chevron currently has interests in the Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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Iran Slashes Natural Gas Exports to Iraq

By John Lee.

An Iranian official has said that Iran's natural gas (methane) exports to Iraq have been reduced, but not because of arrears owed by Iraq.

Mohammad Reza Julaei , the Dispatching Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), told Shana that exports have been reduced by 38 million cubic meters per day; they were believed to be running about 40 to 45 million cubic meters per day previously.

But he said that this was done based on an agreement and with prior notice, and has "nothing to do with [Iraq's] arrears to Iran."

He added, however, that the need to settle the debts is still on the agenda.

(Source: Shana)

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Japan extends $300m Loan for Basra Refinery

By John Lee.

Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Motegi Toshimitsu, visited Iraq on Saturday, meeting with Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and President Barham Salih.

Minister Motegi announced that Japan intends to extend the "Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project (Phase 3)" Yen loan project (up to the amount of 32.7 billion yen) [$300 million], and expressed his hopes that this project would contribute to providing the stable supply of energy and to creating jobs in Iraq. In response, Minister Hussein expressed his gratitude.

Minister Motegi added that he appreciates the publication of the "White Paper for Economic and Financial Reforms", and stated that Japan looks to support Iraq's reform efforts together with the international community through the "Iraq Economic Contact Group."

Both sides also exchanged views on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and means to improve the business and investment environment in Iraq.

(Source: Govt of Japan)

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