Iraq Business News (en)

New EU Strategy on Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 3:01am

By John Lee.

The European Union has adopted a new strategy on Iraq, following the joint communication by the High Representative and the Commission on elements for an EU strategy on Iraq adopted on 8 January 2018.

Among other items, the EU called on the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to engage in a constructive and result-oriented dialogue on immediate issues, providing a foundation for a more detailed discussion on all open questions and towards a more stable and mutually beneficial long-term relationship based on the full application of the Iraqi constitution, including its provisions on Kurdish autonomy.

The full 23-point strategy document can be read here.

(Source: European Council)

Iraq to Supply Egypt with another 12m Barrels

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 2:36am

By John Lee.

The Ministry of Oil announced the renewal of the agreement to supply Egypt with 12 million barrels of crude oil for one year.

Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said that the agreement will be renewed with the same conditions, starting from January 2018.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Children in Iraq Impacted by Conflict and Poverty

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 2:36am

At least one in four children in Iraq impacted by conflict and poverty

At the upcoming Kuwait conference, UNICEF calls for immediate and massive additional investment in education; a key for lasting peace and progress in Iraq

Statement by UNICEF Regional Director, Geert Cappelaere, following his visit to Iraq:

“Iraq today hosts one of UNICEF’s largest operations in the world, responding with humanitarian and development assistance to the needs of the most vulnerable girls and boys across the country.

“More than 4 million children have been impacted by extreme violence in several areas including in Ninewa and al-Anbar. Last year alone, 270 children were killed. Many were robbed of their childhood, forced to fight on the frontlines. Some will bear the physical and psychological scars for life due to exposure to unprecedented brutality. Over 1 million children were forced to leave their homes.

“While the fighting has come to an end in several areas, spikes of violence continue in others. Just this week, three bombings went off in Baghdad. Violence is not only killing and maiming children; it is destroying schools, hospitals, homes and roads. It is tearing apart the diverse social fabric and the culture of tolerance that hold communities together.

“In the northern city of Mosul, a place that witnessed unspeakable destruction, I met children who were hit hard by three years of violence. In one of the schools that UNICEF recently rehabilitated in the western parts of Mosul, I joined 12-year-old Noor in class. She told me how her family stayed in the city even during the peak of the fighting. She spoke of her fear when she was taking shelter. She lost three years of schooling and is now working hard to catch up, learning English with other boys and girls.

“Mankind may have proven once again in Mosul and other parts of Iraq its massive power to destroy and destruct. But another much stronger power left a deeper impression: the determination to rebuild and get on with life. Children were so excited speaking of their aspirations, sharing their happiness of being able to play and study again.

Rivals may Team Up to Defeat Abadi

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 2:35am

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. 

Rivals may Team Up to Defeat Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi

Two former adversaries appear to be warming up to each other to collaborate in Iraq’s presidential and parliamentary elections set for May — possibly at the expense of the nation’s top politician.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi now faces a potential rapprochement between two of his rivals: Vice President Nouri al-Maliki and Massoud Barzani. Maliki is the current leader of the Islamic Dawa Party, and Barzani is head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and former president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

No one actually expected a rapprochement between Maliki and Barzani. However, their need to achieve their targets in the upcoming elections and to tame Abadi pushed both rivals to bridge the gap that opened between them in 2010 and lasted through 2017.

The last time Maliki and Barzani agreed on anything was when all political coalitions decided to renew Maliki’s four-year term as prime minister in 2010.

On Dec. 23, during an interview with Kurdish media outlet Rudaw (which is funded by Barzani’s nephew), Maliki said, “Punishing Kurdish people in order to get more votes in elections is shameful, unethical, non-patriotic and illegitimate.” He was referring to the Abadi government’s continued refusal to pay wages to the employees of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. It was actually Maliki who introduced the pay sanction during his tenure as prime minister over an oil dispute.

Barzani’s KDP has changed its discourse toward Maliki since the latter made that statement. Maliki is no longer blamed for the “starvation” of Kurdish people or for working against the KRG. Statements describing him as harsher on Kurds than Saddam Hussein — as Barzani said in August — are no longer heard. In fact, some KDP leaders are now saying that Maliki wants to resolve the conflict between the central government in Baghdad and the KRG in Erbil.

One of the deputies of the Dawa Party told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that Maliki is discussing whether the rapprochement with the KDP would become an actual alliance and how such an alliance might affect the future of the Dawa Party’s candidates in leading the next government.

NIC Announces 157 Major Strategic Projects in Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 5:37pm

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has just announced the list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February.

The 157 large- and medium-sized projects span all sectors of the Iraqi economy, including oil and gas, transport, housing, agriculture and education.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

GKP to Invest Further in Shaikan

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 5:37pm

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), operator of the Shaikan Field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is today providing an operational and corporate update.

This is in advance of the Company’s full year results for the period ended 31 December 2017 which are expected to be announced on Wednesday 11 April 2018. The information contained herein has not been audited and may be subject to further review and amendment. 

Operational Update

  • GKP has continued its strong safety performance in 2017 and into 2018 with no lost-time incidents at the Shaikan field. Operations in the area remain secure.
  • Plant uptime of 99% in 2017 helped contribute to an average gross production of 35,298 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”), in the middle of our guidance range of 32,000-38,000 bopd for the year.
  • Since 15 November 2017, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (“KRG”) Ministry of Natural Resources (“MNR”) has resumed exporting the Shaikan crude via the export pipeline to Turkey. The Company sees the latest export development as confirmation of the suitability of the Shaikan crude within the Kurdish blend.
  • The Company was encouraged by the signature of the crude oil sales agreement announced on 16 January 2018. The Company is also in dialogue with the MNR on the terms of a potential 2nd PSC Amendment.
  • Subject to resolution of the commercial matters and the KRG continuing regular payment of monthly invoices, the Company currently intends on investing this year in wells and facilities to expand production capacity to 55,000 bopd.
  • Part of these investments would include the hook-up of a short (400m) spur pipeline from Production Facility 2 to the Atrush export line, which links to the main export oil line to Turkey.  This will reduce trucking requirements, HSE risk and improve netbacks.
  • Final investment plans for 2018 are under review and will be provided to the market in due course.

DNO Reports Payment for Tawke Deliveries

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 5:37pm

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today reported receipt of USD 53.71 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government as payment for October 2017 crude oil deliveries to the export market from the Tawke license.

The funds will be shared by DNO and partner Genel Energy plc pro-rata to the companies’ interests in the license.

The payment to DNO of three percent of gross Tawke license revenues during October 2017, as provided for under last August’s receivables settlement agreement, was previously received by the Company.
  
DNO operates and has a 75 percent interest in the Tawke license, which contains the Tawke and Peshkabir fields. Combined production from the two fields currently averages 110,000 barrels of oil per day.

(Source: DNO)

Iraq Stock Market Report

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 5:37pm

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 18th Jan 2018).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD786 (-0.6%) / $809 (-0.6%) (weekly change) (-3.1% and -3.1% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 4.2bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD3.9bn ($3.1mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • The Director of the Information Office of the CBI, Acer Jabbar said on Sunday in a statement that “We would like to point out that the first national bonds/issuances are tradable in the Iraqi market for securities as of January 2018, which was launched on March 15, 2016.” “The discount for these bonds is 8% which is payable on March 14, 2018,” Jabbar said. (CBI, Economic Iraq)
  • Zain Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Investment (BZII) will hold AGM* on Feb. 2, 2018 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX will suspend trading of BZII starting Jan. 30, 2018.
  • Mouta for Remittance (MTMO) disclosed that it completed the procedure and received the approval of the CBI and companies’ registrar to convert into Ameen Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for investment in December of 2017, and approved increasing the capital from IQD45bn to IQD100bn. ISX will suspend trading of MTMO starting Jan. 21, 2018 until Ameen Al-Iraq bank applies for a listing request.
  • Iraqi Middle East Investment Bank (BIME) resumed trading on Jan. 17, 2017 after discussing and approving 2016 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 0.5% cash dividend (IQD0.005 dividend per share, 1.4% dividend yield).
  • AL Arabiya Islamic Bank (BAAI) resumed trading on Jan. 15, 2018 after discussing and approving 2016 annual financial results.
  • Al-Kindi of Veterinary Drugs (IKLV) resumed trading on Jan. 14, 2018 after fulfilling ISC disclosure requirements and publishing 2016 annual financial results.
  • Iraqi Agricultural Products Marketing Meat (AIPM) announced that it started to distribute 5% cash dividend (IQD0.05 dividend per share) from 2016 profit starting Jan. 10, 2018.
  • International Islamic Bank (BINT) requested Iraqi Securities Commission (ISC) to keep the bank’s shares suspended from trading until the end of the legal subscription period. Subscription on 150bn shares was extended 60 days starting on Jan. 2, 2018 to increase the capital from IQD100bn to IQD250bn through 150% rights issue.
  • Cross Transactions: 1.7bn shares of Al-Qabedh Islamic Bank for Finance & Investment (BQAB) on Jan. 14, 2018, which represents 0.7% of BQAB capital.

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 5:37pm

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

New Career Opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 5:37pm

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

GardaWorld Weekly Security Report

Iraq Business News (en) - Sat, 01/20/2018 - 9:59pm

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

Bina Bawi and Miran West gas resource update

Iraq Business News (en) - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:49am

Genel Energy has announced that RPS Energy Consultants, as part of its work on the updated competent person’s reports (‘CPRs’) for the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields (Genel 100% and operator), has finalised its evaluation of the contingent gas resources at both assets:

  • The RPS evaluation confirms a significant upgrade to the combined 2C gross (100% working interest (‘WI’)) raw gas resource estimate for the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields:
    • The RPS assessment of the combined gross 2C raw gas resource for both fields now stands at 14,792 Bscf, a figure which excludes associated condensate volumes attributable to the upstream partners
    • The RPS assessment of the combined gross 2C condensate volumes potentially recovered from raw gas production at both fields totals 137 MMstb
    • As at end-2016 Genel’s reported 2C resources included net raw gas resources from Miran and Bina Bawi totalling 1,421 MMboe1, which related to Genel’s respective 80% and 75% interests in the Bina Bawi and Miran PSCs at that time
    • In February 2017 the Company increased its interest in both PSCs to 100%, resulting in a combined pro-forma end-2016 Genel 2C resource of 1,815 MMboe (10,530 Bscf2)
    • The 2018 RPS estimates of combined 2C resources from both fields have increased c.40% compared to the pro-forma end-2016 2C resource
  • The revised Bina Bawi 1C gross raw gas resource estimate is more than 50% higher than the gas volume agreed to for the field under the Gas Lifting Agreement (‘GLA’). The revised Miran West 1C gross raw gas resource estimate is in line with the volume agreed to for the field in the GLA

A comparison of the revised 2C gross contingent resource numbers for both fields and the Company’s end-2016 number, which was based on the 2013 RPS reports plus the addition of the Company’s assessment of non-hydrocarbon gases, is summarised in the following table. Further detail is provided in an appendix to this announcement.

Gross (100% WI) 2C Contingent Resources Raw gas (Bscf)

Previous

Revised

change

Bina Bawi

6,472

8,230

27%

Miran West

3,688

6,562

78%

RPS’s updated analysis of the raw gas resources on both fields has benefitted from updated reservoir simulation modelling combined with analogue analysis jointly created and developed by the Company and Baker Hughes since the original reports were produced. As a consequence, the recovery factors for the gas reservoirs in both fields have, in most resource categories, been increased to reflect a better understanding of potential reservoir performance. Further appraisal activity, which is currently under consideration, could help refine reservoir performance and these recovery factor estimates.

Volumes agreed under the GLAs total 2,800 Bscf from Bina Bawi, and 2,000 Bscf from Miran West over a 12 year period, consisting of a two year build-up period and 10 year plateau period. The revised 2C and 3C raw gas resources for both fields significantly exceed these volumes. Following the completion of the upstream field development plans (‘FDPs’), sufficient progress on the midstream facilities and sales gas export route, and subsequent final investment decision, the Company expects that a percentage of the contingent raw gas resources will be converted to reserves, dependent on the volumes set to be produced under the FDPs.

 

The upstream FDPs for the gas and oil fields in the Bina Bawi and Miran PSCs, which are being carried out by Baker Hughes, are expected to be completed shortly.

RPS is continuing its evaluation of the oil bearing reservoirs at both fields, the results of which will be announced once finalised.

Appendix

Summary of Contingent Resources – Development unclarified (Gross 100% working interest basis) attributable to the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields as of 31 December 2017

Gross (100% WI) Contingent Resources

Gross (100% WI) Contingent Resources

BINA BAWI

Raw gas (Bscf)

Condensate (MMstb)

MIRAN WEST

Raw gas (Bscf)

Condensate (MMstb)

1C

4,651

34

1C

1,967

18

2C

8,230

62

2C

6,562

75

3C

13,036

99

3C

18,429

233

1 Genel figure based on the 2013 RPS reports plus the addition of the Company’s assessment of non-hydrocarbon gases

2 Based on a conversion factor of 5.8 MMscf/bbl

(Source: Genel Energy)

BP to Boost Oil Production at Kirkuk Oilfields

Iraq Business News (en) - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:55am

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding with BP to rehabilitate the oil fields in Kirkuk governorate.

Michael Townsend, CEO of BP, said that the company is going to prepare the necessary studies to increase production at the Kirkuk oil fields to 750,000 bpd.

The two men inspected the Kirkuk fields on Thursday and ordered a speeding-up of rehabilitation operations.

(Source: Oil Ministry)

Chevron to Resume Drilling in Kurdistan

Iraq Business News (en) - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:55am

By John Lee.

US-based Chevron plans to resume drilling at the Sarta 3 block in Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the company had temporarily halted exploration work in October after the Kurds voted in favour of independence.

Chevron acquired Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC‘s 80 percent interest and operatorship of the production sharing contracts (PSCs) covering the Rovi and Sarta blocks in 2012; Austria’s OMV holds of the other 20 percent interest.

The blocks are located north of Erbil and cover a combined area of approximately 490 square miles (1,124 square kilometers).

(Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters)

Kurdish Investors put their Money Elsewhere

Iraq Business News (en) - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:55am

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

By Sarchin Salih.

Kurdish Crises Drive Kurdish Investors to put their Money Elsewhere

It’s not only Iraqi and international investors getting their money out of Iraqi Kurdistan. Financial and political problems are also leading locals to invest further south.

Ahmad Ali is an Iraqi Kurdish businessman who’s been living in the Erbil province, in Iraqi Kurdistan, for years. In the past Ali often looked at the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan as the best place to invest his money. Not anymore.

Currently Ali is looking into building a mall and supermarket in the Kirkuk province, outside of Iraqi Kurdistan’s official borders, at the cost of US$50 million. He is also working on a residential project in the southern province of Dhi Qar.

“As an investor, I look for the best opportunities. I don’t care about geography,” Ali told NIQASH. “At the moment southern and central Iraq are the best places to put my money.”

The market in Iraqi Kurdistan is dead right now, Ali says, thanks to the financial and political crisis here.

“The last few years we have dealt with a financial crisis, a slowdown and a significant decline in investment,” Yassin Mahmoud Rashid, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Investors’ Union, told NIQASH. “About 20 percent of investors have now left this market thanks to a decline in demand and the losses being incurred by some projects.”

In the past the Iraqi Kurdish government had guaranteed investment projects a steady supply of electricity and tax cuts for certain time periods, Rashid pointed out.

US Supports Iraqi National Elections on May 12

Iraq Business News (en) - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:54am

The U.S. government strongly supports holding the Iraqi national elections in May 2018, in line with the Iraqi constitution.

Postponing the elections would set a dangerous precedent, undermining the constitution and damaging Iraq’s long-term democratic development.

To that end, the United States is providing assistance that will help ensure that all Iraqi voices are heard and counted, including the approximately 2.6 million Iraqis who remain displaced from their homes in the liberated areas.

USAID is assisting in the training of local civil society groups in election monitoring and providing Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) with six elections advisors who will help IHEC strengthen its electoral systems, personnel, and processes in the following ways:

  • Enfranchise internally displaced Iraqis by focusing on voter registration and ensuring electronic voting systems are effective.
  • Improve provincial electoral administrative capacity to support voting in recently liberated areas.
  • Help the new IHEC Board of Commissioners finalize a sound operational plan for the May 2018 elections.

Support for Iraq’s democratic institutions is a key part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to a federal, democratic, prosperous, and unified Iraq.  By exercising their constitutional right to vote, Iraqis will signal their commitment to governance through peaceful processes rather than through violence.

(Source: US Embassy in Baghdad)

DoD reports Spike in Contractors in Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 3:05am

By John Lee.

The number of civilian contractors supporting U.S. and coalition operations in Iraq against the Islamic State has risen 37 percent from January 2017 to January 2018 — from 3,592 to 4,927 — according CENTCOM:

  • Contractors supporting base operations rose from 564 contractors at the start of the period to 827 contractors currently;
  • Contracted translators rose from 377 to 805;
  • Contractors supporting logistics and maintenance rose from 1,156 to 1,480.

More from Military Times here.

(Source: Military Times)

Deloitte Report on Oil and Gas in Kurdistan

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 3:04am

As the Kurdistan Regional Government has promised, and to prove its commitment to transparency in the entire oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region, today the first report by the international auditing company, Deloitte, is released.

The report, which includes verified numbers of export and sales of oil in the Kurdistan Region for the first six months of 2017, is available to the public.

According to the validated numbers, the total revenue generated from oil sales is 3,328,211,119 US Dollars, after deducting expenses. The average oil sales price for that period was 41.29 $/bbl for exported barrel of oil through pipelines, at a time when average Dated Brent price was approximately 51.71 $/bbl.

The auditing project was ordered by the Council of Ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government through Decision No. (73) on 3rd of February 2016, as a continuation of Oil and Gas Law, and Oil and Gas Trust Fund Law.

In a transparent process and in accordance with the World Bank guidelines, the Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs invited the Big Four international auditing firms in the world and consequently signed Master Service Agreements (“MSA”) with Deloitte and Ernst & Young, after following international tendering standards. According to the MSA’s, the oil and gas sector will be subject to audit, including the historical data.

The Kurdistan Regional Government considers the auditing process as an important step for strengthening transparency in the oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region. The KRG has approved Deloitte’s recommendations to further enhance the processes and address any shortcomings. The KRG is also working to develop the accounting and auditing capabilities of the financial monitoring agencies in the Region, in order to empower them for future projects.

This is the first time that reputable and major international companies audit the oil and gas sector in the Kurdistan Region. In the near future, the validated numbers for the second half of 2017, and for the past years will be released to the public.

For further questions, contact information will be provided soon.

  1. Deloitte’s report for first six months of 2017 is accessible through this link (PDF format), in Kurdish, Arabic, and English.
  2. This link (PDF format) consists of 27 frequently asked questions in Kurdish, Arabic and English to help the readers better understand different sections of the report.
  3. This link (PDF format) includes a snapshot (info-graphics) regarding oil exports, local consumption and revenues in the Kurdistan Region, especially average daily exports and daily price of Kurdistan Region’s oil compared to Dated Brent price for the first six months of 2017 in Kurdish, Arabic and English.

(Source: KRG)

Iran Eyes Closer Banking Ties with Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 3:03am

Iran’s president called for stronger banking relations with Iraq to allow for a growth in the bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

In a meeting with Iraq’s parliament speaker in Tehran on Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani said expansion of economic and trade ties between the two neighbors hinges on enhanced baking relations.

The central banks of Iran and Iraq need to promote cooperation and keep working together to contribute to the bilateral trade, he added.

The president also hailed the Iraqi government’s success to defeat terrorism and thwart the hostile plots to foment discord in the Arab country, reiterating Tehran’s support for an integrated Iraq and opposition to any change in the borders of regional countries.

For his part, Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting his nation in the fight against terrorism.

Iraq is at the beginning of a new era, and looks for continued support from Iran on the road to development and reconstruction, the speaker added.

The Iraqi speaker is in Iran for the 13th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States (PUIC).

Iran, a close ally of Iraq, supported the Arab nation in the fight against Daesh (ISIL) since the terrorist group invaded Iraq in summer 2014.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Genel receives Payment for Taq Taq Exports

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 3:02am

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced that the Taq Taq partners have received a gross payment of $10.10 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government for oil sales during October 2017.

Genel’s net share of the payment is $5.55 million.

(Source: Genel Energy)

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