Terrorist Attack on Bai Hassan Oil Field

By John Lee.

A terrorist attack on the Bai Hassan oilfield in Kirkuk early on Wednesday has caused casualties and damage.

A statement from the Ministry of Oil said that wells 177 and 183 were bombed, and "a number of security forces and energy police were killed and wounded".

The safety and firefighting teams from the North Oil Company (NOC) and the supporting authorities were able to quickly extinguish the fire at well 177, but were still working to control the fire of well 183.

Sources told Reuters that production was not affected.

It's the second attack on the facility in less than a month; a bomb in April did not result in damage or injury.

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, Reuters)

The post Terrorist Attack on Bai Hassan Oil Field first appeared on Iraq Business News.

4 more get Coronavirus in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq has reported four new cases of coronavirus (covid-19), this time in Kirkuk province.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the four were from the same family, and had recently returned from Iran.

They have been placed in quarantine.

According to Reuters, Iraq has indefinitely extended an entry ban on travellers from China, Iran, Thailand, South Korean, Japan, Italy and Singapore.

(Source: Ministry of Health)

BP “Pulls Out” of Kirkuk Oilfield

By John Lee.

BP has reportedly finished its work at Iraq’s giant Kirkuk oilfield.

According to Reuters, sources confirmed that the decision followed the expiration of its $100-million exploration contract at the end of December, at which point there was no agreement on the field’s expansion.

It quotes a source at BP as saying:

“In 2013, BP signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the North Oil Company of the Iraq Ministry of Oil to support field activity studies in Kirkuk. As planned, in December 2019 BP completed field work, studies and recommendations.”

Another source said that the results of the study were “below expectations” and “not encouraging for BP to extend its operations.

Full report here.

(Source: Reuters)

Iraq to Build 5 New Refineries

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has reportedly announced that it will select a number of international investment companies to build five new refineries around the country:

  1. Kirkuk with a capacity of 70,000 barrels per day (bpd);
  2. Wasit capacity of 140,000 bpd;
  3. Nasiriyah capacity of 140,000 bpd;
  4. Basra card 140,000 bpd; and
  5. al-Faw capacity of 300,000 bpd.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Ministry is financing Karbala refinery which is about 78 percent completed, and once it is fully constructed, it will provide about 9 million liters per day of high-quality gasoline, in addition to various oil derivatives in accordance with international standards.

(Source: Asharq Al-Awsat)

(Pictured: Baiji Oil Refinery)

Iraq to Build 5 New Refineries

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has reportedly announced that it will select a number of international investment companies to build five new refineries around the country:

  1. Kirkuk with a capacity of 70,000 barrels per day (bpd);
  2. Wasit capacity of 140,000 bpd;
  3. Nasiriyah capacity of 140,000 bpd;
  4. Basra card 140,000 bpd; and
  5. al-Faw capacity of 300,000 bpd.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Ministry is financing Karbala refinery which is about 78 percent completed, and once it is fully constructed, it will provide about 9 million liters per day of high-quality gasoline, in addition to various oil derivatives in accordance with international standards.

(Source: Asharq Al-Awsat)

(Pictured: Baiji Oil Refinery)

Confusion over Iran-Iraq Oil Swap

By John Lee.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has contradicted a recent report originating from Iran’s oil ministry news agency Shana, claiming that the Iran-Iraq oil swap had started.

Reuters quotes the minister as saying that implementation of the agreement has been delayed due to “logistical issues“.

(Source: Reuters)

Disputed Election Results Threaten Conflict in Kirkuk

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

On May 30, the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq annulled votes cast at more than 1,000 of the country’s polling stations, including 186 stations in Kirkuk, a city that has faced political unrest among its three social components — Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen — since the elections on May 12.

On the same day, Jan Kubis, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, talked during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, where he noted reports of electoral fraud and said that Kirkuk was “one of several hotspots” of tension over the election results, adding that the situation there continues to be “volatile.”

Hundreds of members of the Iraqi Turkmen Front in Kirkuk have staged a sit-in surrounding the warehouses where the governorate ballot boxes are being kept. This has prevented the electoral commission staff from retrieving the ballot boxes despite being accompanied by a counterterrorism force.

According to statements from the commission, the boxes from some polling stations in Kirkuk remain in the warehouses and have not been transferred to the Iraqi capital because of the sit-in, which is headed by parliamentarian Arshad Salhi. “There are armed men among the protesters near the warehouses,” the electoral commission’s statement said.

Al-Monitor secured a copy of a May 30 press statement by head of the electoral commission Riad Badran. The statement said, “The Kirkuk Election Office was unable to reach the ballot boxes because of the gathering of some groups affiliated with certain political parties.”

There are concerns over the possible breakout of a conflict between different ethnicities in Kirkuk, which is what deputy head of the Turkmen Front in Kirkuk Hassan Toran warned against.

“Not responding to the demands of the Turkmen to manually recount the votes could ignite a crisis in the governorate,” Toran told Al-Monitor.

Toran, who is a member of the current Iraqi parliament, accuses the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) — which is led by the two sons of the PUK’s late leader Jalal Talabani, Qubad and Bafel — of “vote-rigging” in Kirkuk.

“President Fuad Masum is defending the false results and using his position for partisan purposes,” Toran said in a jab at Masum, who requested the federal court decide on the annulment of some votes cast.

On May 30, Masum said that annulling some poll results would be “unconstitutional.” Masum’s position came less than 24 hours after the PUK — the president’s party — rejected the proposal of having judges oversee the manual recount of votes.

Kurds indirectly accuse members of the Turkmen Front in Kirkuk, who are protesting against the election results, of “conspiring” against the peaceful coexistence in the governorate. PUK Bloc parliament member Shwan Daoudi went as far as to draw comparisons between this sit-in and the protests in the Anbar province in 2012-13, which were part of a civil conflict from which the Islamic State emerged.

In reference to the Turkmen Front, the PUK — which emerged with six seats in Kirkuk — has accused “political parties and militias” of storming into the warehouses where the ballot boxes are stored in Kirkuk.

“The head of the electoral commission office in Kirkuk handed the keys to the warehouses to the armed militias,” Daoudi said during a press conference May 30.

Arabs in Kirkuk also joined the protests against the election results. Arab political figures there believe the PUK has rigged the vote in the governorate because it seeks the return of peshmerga forces to Kirkuk.

Kirkuk Gov. Rakan al-Jabouri, who belongs to the Arab Coalition that came in second in the governorate after securing three seats in the future parliament, accused the electoral commission of covering up the fraud and vote-rigging in Kirkuk elections.

The Arab group in the Kirkuk Governorate Council warned of a conflict that may elevate the crisis in the governorate to an “unknown” state because of the results of the current elections. All of these serious repercussions indicate that there is a crisis looming in Kirkuk as long as the integrity of the elections remains in question.

“The crisis in Kirkuk is very serious, as it is related to the size of the administrative representation [of the different components] in the governorate. Turkmen believe that their representation rights are being rejected by the Kurds,” Falah Mashaal, the former editor of state-owned al-Sabah newspaper, told Al-Monitor.

“Should the situation remain at a standstill, the crisis could shift down a conflictual path and unprecedented ethnic escalation, leading to an armed conflict that would end the relative calm that has been ongoing in the governorate for years,” he added.

The international dimensions of the dispute only compound the crisis. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also has concerns about the election’s repercussions, as was evident in his recent contact with the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, indicating that any potential conflict between Kurds and Turkmen will also include Arabs.

Iran Starts Oil Swap with Iraq’s Kirkuk

Iran started swapping oil with Iraq’s Kirkuk on Sunday, after the two neighbours sorted out the logistic issues that were preventing the swap’s startup.

According to the CIF-based swap deal, Iran receives 30,000 to 60,000 bpd of oil from the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq to an Iranian refinery across the border via tanker trucks, in exchange for oil for southern Iraq.

On Sunday, the tankers offloaded their cargoes at storage tanks in Iran’s Darreh Shahr, the western province of Ilam, which were installed in the city by the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) for the purposes of the swap operation.

The oil is to be fed to Iranian refineries. The swap agreement is subject to renegotiation.

Based on cost, insurance and freight (CIF) sale terms, seller must pay the costs and freight includes insurance to bring the goods to the port of destination.

(Source: Shana)

Iran Starts Oil Swap with Iraq’s Kirkuk

Iran started swapping oil with Iraq’s Kirkuk on Sunday, after the two neighbours sorted out the logistic issues that were preventing the swap’s startup.

According to the CIF-based swap deal, Iran receives 30,000 to 60,000 bpd of oil from the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq to an Iranian refinery across the border via tanker trucks, in exchange for oil for southern Iraq.

On Sunday, the tankers offloaded their cargoes at storage tanks in Iran’s Darreh Shahr, the western province of Ilam, which were installed in the city by the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) for the purposes of the swap operation.

The oil is to be fed to Iranian refineries. The swap agreement is subject to renegotiation.

Based on cost, insurance and freight (CIF) sale terms, seller must pay the costs and freight includes insurance to bring the goods to the port of destination.

(Source: Shana)