Russia Considers Major Investment in Iraqi Gas Field

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Russian Ambassador to Iraq, Maxim Maksimov [Maximov] (pictured), said that Russia is seeking to invest heavily in Al-Mansouriya gas field, in the Diyala governorate.

Maksimov said in a press statement yesterday that "Russian companies are willing to mobilise significant funds and have submitted an investment tender for Al-Mansouriya gas field in Diyala."

 He added that "three Russian companies in Iraq produce about 600,000 barrels of oil per day, including Gazprom, which operates in the Badra oil field in Wasit Governorate with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day, in addition to 400,000 barrels in the [West Qurna 2] field."

The Russian ambassador stated that his country is paying special attention to the Russian-Iraqi Commission.

Moscow has assigned its deputy prime minister to head the Russian delegation, in preparation for a very important meeting between the two sides, which was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus causes Staffing Problems for Lukoil in Iraq

By John Lee.

Lukoil is reportedly having difficulties staffing its operations in Iraq due to coronavirus and associated restrictions.

Interfax cited chief executive Vagit Alekperov (pictured) was quoted as saying that the company has a problem with replacing shift workers, adding, "We are reaching deals with people to keep them on for shifts that are 60 days long or more."

The Russian-based company operates the West Qurna 2 oilfield in Basra, one of the world's largest fields.

(Source: Reuters)

Jiyad: Oil Market Collapse Damages the Iraqi Economy

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

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

Oil Market Collapse, Damages the Iraqi Economy and Changes Oil Geopolitics

The collapse of the global oil market is undoubtedly unprecedented in its timing, magnitude, spread and devastating impacts across the globe. A strange and unpredicted association of a few, but major, factors had contributed to the current threat, causing much uncertainty and vulnerability on national and global levels.

The revised "OPEC+" production cut agreed on 12 April prompted initial minor improvement in oil price, but there remains very many serious concerns that such reduction is much below what is needed to bring stability to and balances a saturated global oil market.

This article aims at estimating the collapse in oil market on Iraq first then on both Russia and Saudi Arabia, as they are accused for "OPEC+" failure early last March that ignited the oil price war, and assesses the geopolitical and political economy consideration that contributed to and further complicate the impasse.  The article provides a summary of two articles written and published in Arabic recently and an update on recent deliberation by "OPEC+" and G20 Energy Ministers to rescue the situation and bring some stability to global oil market under  existing threat of Coronavirus to the world biosecurity.

My two articles attempt to provide comparative assessment of the impact of the collapse with particular focus on short-term horizon, i.e., the remaining nine months of this year under different Brent oil price scenarios on Iraq, first article , while the second focuses on Russia and Saudi Arabia.

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.

Gazprom “Not Reducing Investment” in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

Russia's Gazprom Neft has reportedly said it will not reduce investment in its projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, despite a request from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to do so.

Reuters reports that following a slump in oil prices, oil producers have been asked to reduce their investments, which governments often have to partially reimburse as part of their contractual arrangements.

Gazprom Neft holds a participating interest of 40 percent in the Garmian block and 80 percent in the Halabja and Shakal blocks. The Sarqala field is located within the Garmian block.

More here.

(Source: Ekurd, Reuters)

KRG to Investigate Alleged $250m payment from Rosneft?

By John Lee.

The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masrour Barzani, has reportedly called for the public prosecutor to launch an investigation into allegations that Russian state oil company Rosneft paid $250 million to a consultant to secure deals in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg claimed that the oil company paid the money an unknown individual in 2017 and 2018 to become the dominant foreign player in the Kurdish oil industry.

More here.

(Source: Ekurd)

Rosneft “Paid Mystery Consultant $250m in Iraq Deal”

By John Lee.

Russia’s state oil company Rosneft has reportedly paid $250 million to an external consultant to help secure deals in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Bloomberg reports that Rosneft Trading SA in 2017 “entered into an advisory agreement with an external consultant for advisory services relating to Rosneft Group’s proposed concession agreement and Production Sharing Contracts (“PSCs”) with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (“KRG”)”.

Click here to read the full story.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Ambassador meets Russian Deputy Minister of Energy

The Ambassador of Iraq in Moscow, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Hamid Al-Hussaini, met with the Russian Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr. Pavel Sorokin to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy (oil, gas, and electricity).

Ambassador Al-Hussaini stressed Iraq’s keenness to develop relations with the Russian Federation in the energy sector and provide support to Russian companies working in it, noting the importance of increasing Russian investments to serve the interests of the two friendly countries.

Ambassador Al-Hussaini stated that the embassy will support all Russian companies willing to work in Iraq, and will work to provide facilities with the responsible authorities in Iraq.

The two sides discussed the possibility of employing Iraqi graduates from universities with engineering specializations in the fields of energy in Russian companies operating in Iraq.

The two sides also discussed the dangers of the Coronavirus and its impact on the energy market, as well as bilateral cooperation on stabilizing oil prices in global markets.

(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Russia may Triple Investment in Iraqi Oil

By John Lee.

Investment by Russian oil and gas companies in Iraq may increase three-fold, according to a report by Tass.

It quotes Russian politician Yury Fedorov [Nikolay Vasilyevich Fyodorov] as telling the Iraqi Ambassador to Russia, Abdul-Rahman Al-Husseini, that the total investment in Iraq by companies such as Lukoil, Bashneft and Gazprom Neft has exceeded $10 billion, and that this could triple.

Our companies such as Zarubezhneft, Tatneft and Rosneftegaz also show a high degree of interest,” he added.

(Source: Tass)

The Future of Iraq’s Oil Is Russian

By Vera Mironova and Mohammed Hussein, for Foreign Policy. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

With ongoing protests making other investors nervous, Moscow is charging ahead.

Despite ongoing protests in Baghdad, which have seen the departure of many foreign diplomats for security concerns, Russia has doubled down.

Not only has its embassy stayed open in the recent weeks of turmoil, but its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov (pictured), also paid a visit last month, first touring Baghdad and then Erbil.

His tour did not look like a regular diplomatic mission. There were no official agreements signed; politics, Syria, and terrorism seemed like an afterthought; and diplomats were in the minority during the week’s events.

In fact, the majority of the participants were businesspeople, including representatives of such Russian oil and gas companies as Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Soyuzneftegaz, and Lukoil.

Also in attendance were representatives of Technopromexport, a Russian company that builds energy facilities, and from Russia’s Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation.

Click here to read the full story.

See also:

China, Not Iran, Is the Power to Watch in Iraq