The KRG Turns Thirty: The Future of US-Kurdish Relations (Part III)

By James Jeffrey, Matthew Amitrano and Bilal Wahab for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The KRG Turns Thirty: The Future of U.S.-Kurdish Relations in Iraq

Three experts evaluate the KRG's oil and gas industry and discuss the growing urgency of resolving its disputes with Baghdad.

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The Necessary US Role in Fixing Baghdad-Kurdistan Energy Dispute

By Michael Knights, for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Necessary U.S. Role in Fixing the Baghdad-Kurdistan Energy Dispute

On February 15, 2022, Iraq's Federal Supreme Court ruled that the 2007 oil and gas law for the Kurdistan Region was unconstitutional, requiring a review of numerous production sharing contracts and oil sales agreements.

If the case prevents oil exports via Iraqi Kurdistan, then the world market will almost immediately lose 500,000 barrels per day, triggering higher oil prices, expanded windfalls for Russia and Iran, the collapse of Iraqi Kurdistan's economy, and a dangerous turn in Baghdad's ties with Erbil and with Ankara.

In this timely Policy Note, Iraq expert Michael Knights calls for the United States to act with other concerned states to resolve the Baghdad-Erbil energy crisis. In doing so, he categorizes the sub-issues of FSC implementation on a spectrum from higher to lower consensus, and explains both sides' views in an unvarnished, direct manner.

A targeted intervention by the United States and its partners, the author argues, could guide the dispute toward a long-overdue resolution that greatly aids U.S. interests and the global effort to find a substitute for Russian and Iranian oil and gas.

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China Wins Engineering Deal for Giant Iraqi Gas Plant

By John Lee.

China Petroleum Engineering Procurement & Construction (CPECC) has reportedly won an engineering contract for a plant to process gas from the Gharraf (Garraf) and Nasiriyah fields.

According to Upstream Online, the contract was awarded by lead contractor Baker Hughes.

More here (subscription required)

(Source: Upstream Online)

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US Law Firm Awarded for Iraq Advisory Role

By John Lee.

New York-based law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has won the Infrastructure and Energy Projects Team of the Year award at Law.com International's Middle East Legal Awards 2022.

According to a press release from the firm, it "was recognized for advising on Iraq's gas growth integrated project, one of the largest projects ever in Iraq."

The firm represented the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and two Iraqi state-owned companies, Basra Oil Company (BOC) and South Gas Company (SGC), in the major $27-billion investment project with France's TotalEnergies.

Cleary partner Andrew Bernstein and associate Jad Nasr were mentioned as part of the team advising the Iraqi government in a Law.com International article about the deal.

The firm had previously advised Iraq's oil ministry on a $17.2 billion deal with Shell and Mitsubishi to develop the infrastructure required to process natural gas in the southern part of Iraq.

(Source: Cleary Gottlieb)

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WHO marks 5 Yrs of Strategic Partnership with USAID in Iraq

WHO marks five years of strategic partnership with USAID in Iraq

The World Health Organization (WHO) marks the five-year milestone of its strategic partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the provision of life-saving and essential healthcare services to vulnerable populations in Iraq.

Over the past five years, USAID has provided WHO Iraq with support totalling US$122 million.

Dr Ahmed Zouiten, WHO Representative in Iraq, said@

"USAID has been the biggest funding partner of WHO in Iraq over the past five years. We're proud of this genuine and growing partnership, which helped us expand access to much-needed healthcare services for millions of people in different governorates.

"We greatly value and appreciate this impactful partnership, and we're exploring new opportunities to deepen this collaborative partnership further."

Impact of USAID's contribution

Thanks to the generous contribution from USAID, over 6 million primary health care consultations, including mental and physical rehabilitation services, were provided to Iraqi citizens, while over 1,500 individuals benefited from various capacity building training.

USAID support also provided 56 new ambulances to the Iraqi health system, helping to ensure uninterrupted access to referral services. Funds also went to delivering essential medicines, medical supplies and diagnostic equipment to various conflict-affected governorates to provide comprehensive primary health care services to millions of people, including around 300,000 Syrian refugees and host communities in Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah governorates.

In addition, USAID has contributed to WHO-Iraq's preparedness and response to COVID-19 by adding up to 800 new COVID-19 vaccination locations, including in challenging humanitarian areas, such as in camps housing refugees and internally displaced persons.

It is also providing equipment and supplies, as well as technical assistance to Iraqi laboratories, clinics, and hospitals for testing, diagnosing, and treating COVID-19. USAID funding is also helping train frontline workers on caring for COVID-19 patients and organizing awareness-raising campaigns.

Heather Schildge, Acting USAID Mission Director to Iraq, said:

"The United States is the leading humanitarian assistance provider in Iraq. We are pleased to celebrate five years of fruitful partnership with the WHO and stand committed to working with the Government of Iraq and other partners to provide critical services to Iraq's most vulnerable populations."

(Source: UN)

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Honeywell to Develop Iraq’s Haditha Refinery

By John Lee.

At its regular meeting this week the Iraqi Cabinet approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council for Energy to proceed with the development project at Haditha refinery.

The American company Honeywell UOP is to carry out the work on behalf of the North Refineries Company (NRC).

Haditha refinery is situated in Anbar province.

(Sources: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Govt of Iraq)

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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.

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Chevron’s Oil Deal with Iraq “is One to Watch”

Writing in Oil Price, Simon Watkins says that, given the negative history of dealing with China over the Nassiriyah project and the fact that Russia is occupied elsewhere in the country and the region, the United States might be in an unusually positive position to take a significant role in either the Nassiriyah field development alone or in the broader Nassiriyah Integrated Project (NIP).

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INOC to Negotiate with Chevron to Develop Dhi Qar Oil Fields

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet has authorised the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) to negotiate directly with US oil company Chevron to develop four oil fields in Dhi Qar Governorate.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Oil, the fields constitute the Nasiriyah block, which has a target output of 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) over a seven-year period.

The announcement follows last month's approval by Iraq's Ministerial Energy Council for discussions to go ahead.

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

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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US provides Additional $3m COVID-19 Assistance to Iraq

The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is pleased to announce an additional $3 million in urgent COVID-19 assistance for Iraq.

USAID's contribution will help Iraq better detect and diagnose COVID-19 infections, reduce COVID-19 cases and deaths, and broadly increase access to vaccines for Iraqis nationwide.

This assistance, implemented by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), will add up to 800 new COVID-19 vaccination locations, including in challenging humanitarian areas, such as in camps housing refugees and internally displaced persons.

It will also provide equipment and supplies, as well as technical assistance to Iraqi laboratories, clinics, and hospitals for testing, diagnosing, and treating COVID-19. USAID funding also will help train frontline workers on caring for COVID-19 patients and promote vaccination among the Iraqi public.

"As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Iraq, this latest contribution from USAID will help our local partners better protect the people of Iraq through increased vaccination centers and enhanced prevention and treatment measures," said Robert Birkenes, USAID's Acting Mission Director to Iraq. "This is an example of our ongoing commitment to help save lives and defeat the pandemic together."

USAID has committed more than $60 million since the start of the pandemic to help Iraq respond to COVID-19. The $3 million in additional COVID-19 assistance funds from the American Rescue Plan Act builds on our August donation, in partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Health, of more than 500,000 Pfizer vaccine doses through COVAX, the global initiative to equitably distribute safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

The activities implemented with this additional support will contribute to the overall goals of the Government of Iraq's National Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and the National Vaccine Deployment Plan.

(Source: USAID)

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