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Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:17 pm

ANALYSIS: How Iran has its eyes set on Iraq oil

Iran, sensing the increasing international isolation, has long sketched the necessary blueprints to prevent a future already becoming very bleak. For decades Tehran has maintained this entire country and its vast oil reserves in its crosshairs.

Recent developments in Iraqi Kurdistan prove the Iranian regime’s devious intentions and should alert the international community. The government of Iraq, jockeying to maintain ties with both Washington and Tehran, has unprecedentedly agreed to redirect Kirkuk province’s crude to Iran.

This oil will be supplying a refinery located in the city of Kermanshah, close to the recently earthquake-struck region. This decision follows the retaking of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk from the Kurds in the notorious shadow of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani.

Own backyard

Iran has continuously fueled regional tensions across the board, launching parallel proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen against the entire Arab World, with a main focus on Saudi Arabia. After Iran enjoyed 16 years of strategic mistakes and appeasement, the Trump administration has expressed major concerns and is taking major action against Tehran.

Iran is already receiving trucks of Iraqi oil, currently based at 15,000 barrels per day valued at around $1 million, with plans to escalate to 60,000 bpd, a Reuters report citing Iraqi officials indicates.

Considering it its own backyard, Iran has pressed Iraq over an oil pipeline project to ultimately export Kirkuk oil through Gulf ports. Tehran’s ultimate objective is to pump 650,000 bpd of Kurdish oil into refineries across Iran and for export purposes, the report adds citing a senior Iranian official.

Feeding off Iraq

While the cover story may seem an ordinary economic agreement between two neighboring countries, Tehran cannot deny a malign past of seeking to take advantage of its crisis-riddled western neighbor.

In April 2012 the London-based International Centre for Development Studies confirmed concerns of Iran stealing large amounts of Iraqi oil. Iran’s efforts involved stealing an annual value of $17 billion worth of oil from fields considered mostly Iraqi and not shared between the two oil-exporting rivals, the report indicated.

Those fields enjoy a reserve of over 100 billion barrels, with the majority laying inside Iraq. Iran was taking an estimated 130,000 barrels of Iraqi oil per day, according to the report. The Iraqi oil fields of Dehloran, Naft Shahr, Beidar West, and Aban were the victims of this vast plundering.

The oil fields of al-Tayeb and Fakka, along with various sections of Majnoun, were also targets of Iranian misuse, adding another 250,000 bpd to the above figure.

Iran was stealing a whopping 14 percent of Iraqi oil revenue, depriving this war-ravaged nation of desperately needed funds that Tehran is likely to allocate to notorious belligerence across the region.

Fallen on deaf ears

Iran has also supported the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), a conglomerate of mainly Shiite militia groups. This entity, following Iran’s IRGC paramilitary Bassij prototype, stands accused of smuggling oil from wells across to the country to Iran on a daily basis, according to an April 2017 report citing an Iraqi Oil Ministry source.

The Badr militia, Iraqi Hezbollah, Saraya al-Salam militias and al-Fadilah party militants have also gained significant control over the al-Basra and Maysan refineries and A’las, Oujeil and Hamrin oil wells in Salahuddin province of central Iraq. The Iraqi Oil Ministry has remained silent as PMF leaders have been smuggling hundreds of oil tankers to Iran on a daily basis, the source added.

Salahuddin Govenor Ahmed al-Jabouri’s efforts in urging Baghdad several times to protect A’las and Oujeil oil wells located east of Tikrit from such theft have fallen on deaf ears. On a daily basis dozens of oil tankers are stolen and smuggled through Tuz Khurmatu from these oil wells, the report adds.

The PMF was initially established in response to the attack staged by Islamic State terrorists. Their activities, however, have expanded to Iraq’s political affairs and the PMF also stand accused of flagrant human rights violations. To make matters even more complicated for Iran, Soleimani was spotted near the Iraq-Syria border alongside the PMF, making quite a stir in the media.

Fueling division

The entire history of Iran stealing Iraqi oil can be described as a chapter of Tehran’s silent growth of influence, especially during the years of Obama’s appeasement. Qassem Soleimani, running the IRGC’s international branch known as the Quds Force, is also known to be the right hand of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Alongside the military campaign he runs across the Middle East through Iran-backed proxy militias, Soleimani also has Iran’s oil business heavily on his mind. A September visit to Iraqi Kurdistan by Soleimani came prior to the Iraqi army’s recapture of Kirkuk, resulting from a rift in Kurdish forces leading to the city’s fall into Baghdad control.

“… the presence of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, exacerbated tensions among the Kurds and the government in Baghdad,” US Senator John McCain said in Washington recently.

Iran has since 2003 been known to fuel division across Iraq and Soleimani’s recent stop in Kurdistan came after a referendum that Iran vigorously opposed, and was followed suspiciously with Kirkuk’s sudden fall. “The recapture of Kirkuk was coordinated with Soleimani,” according to the abovementioned Reuters report.

This can lead to a conclusion that Iran, sensing harsh times ahead, is providing increasing control to the IRGC over the vital oil sector in its already troubled economy.

This may seem a flawed decision by Tehran considering the IRGC’s recent terrorist designation by Washington. Yet it also sheds light on Iran’s dependency on the IRGC to further advance domestic and regional policies.

Changing times

Iran will resort to further such desperate measures in the coming future, comprehending how the tide is changing drastically against its interests.

A possible agreement between the US and Russia over Syria following a recent meeting between President Donald Trump and his counterpart Vladimir Putin; the surprising resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his visit to Paris; France raising the tone against Iran’s ballistic missile program; and growing domestic unrest witnessed following the recent earthquake in western Iran are all tallying Tehran’s deepening concerns.

Conditions are shifting fast, and Tehran believes desperate times call for desperate measures. Vital now is for the international community to increase the velocity of restrictions damning this regime. With ISIS’s days of authority coming to an end Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri has called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to disband the PMF.

Sunday’s Arab Summit session in Cairo ended in a statement describing Iran as a “dangerous dagger” in the region, especially in its approach towards Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries.

“Ballistic missiles fired at Saudi Arabia have amounted to 76 rockets, all Iranian-made, and therefore we affirm our full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in everything it takes to protect its national security,” said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit during the emergency meeting. The entity went as far as saying it will not declare war on Iran at this stage.

US President Donald Trump signaling future pressure on Iran’s oil exports, Congress passing a bill aimed at blocking the sale of commercial aircraft to Tehran and the Bahrain Interior Ministry revealing further details of an Iran-linked terrorist cell are also further steps in this direction.

This is the nature of measures needed against Iran these days.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspec ... q-oil.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:03 pm

Iraq to build new pipeline to export Kirkuk oil to Turkey

Scrapping plans to rehabilitate Iraq’s damaged oil pipeline to Turkey, the Oil Ministry announced on Sunday it will build a new pipeline from Baiji to Fishkabur.

The pipeline will carry Kirkuk oil to Turkey’s Ceyhan port for export.

Kirkuk’s oil fields came under federal control when Iraqi forces took the disputed areas in mid-October.

Iraq had planned to repair its pipeline to Turkey that had lain unused since it was damaged by militants in 2014, prior to ISIS capturing territory that the pipeline ran through. Oil ministry spokesperson Assem Jihad said on Sunday that the pipeline was too severely damaged to be repaired.

The ministry has therefore begun planning for a new pipeline and is preparing to invite tenders.

The Fishkhabur border crossing is within Kurdistan Region territory. Iraqi and Kurdish forces clashed near the border in October when Iraqi forces and Shiite militias attempted to take control of the key location where the Kurdistan Region meets Turkey and Syria.

A ceasefire is currently in place and military representatives of the two sides are in talks, though no final solution has been reached as of yet.

Kirkuk’s oil was previously being exported via the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) pipeline to Ceyhan. Oil exports have largely been stalled since federal forces took control of the province. Iran and Iraq have announced an agreement to truck 30,000 to 60,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil per day in a swap deal.

Baghdad would like to increase Kirkuk’s oil production to one million barrels per day.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/business/261120171
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:02 am

Iraq to divert most Kirkuk oilfield output to Iraqi refineries, says official

Iraq is preparing to divert most future output from Kirkuk oilfield to local refineries as a conflict with Kurdish regional authorities over the use of an export pipeline to Turkey continues, an Iraqi official said on Monday.

Kirkuk's production stopped in mid-October after Iraqi forces dislodged Kurdish fighters from Kirkuk and took over the northern region's oilfields.

Diverting Kirkuk's crude to Dora, a refinery near Baghdad, and to another one in Baiji, north of the capital, would help free up more oil for exports from the southern region, the official told Reuters.

Some Kirkuk crude would also be shipped "in the near future" by trucks to Iran's Kermanshah refinery, at a rate of 30,000 barrels per day, the official said, declining to be identified. The takeover of Kirkuk, a mixed area which had been under Kurdish control since 2014, was part of retaliatory measures taken by the Iraqi government against a referendum for Kurdish independence held in September in northern Iraq. Kirkuk lies just outside the official boundaries of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Its fields used to supply about half the crude carried by a pipeline across the KRG territory to Ceyhan, a Turkish export terminal on the Mediterranean. The other half is supplied by fields located inside the KRG territory. Oil flows through the pipeline were reported last week at around 270,000 bpd. Before the crisis flows usually stood at about 600,000 bpd, roughly 17 percent of Iraq's total exports.

OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, Iraq exports most of its crude from the southern region.

The Kurds have refused to hand over to the Iraqi authorities Khurmala, a reservoir which is part of the geological structure of the Kirkuk oil basin but geographically inside the KRG territory, the Iraqi oil official said.

The official said the government wanted Khurmala to be under control of state-run North Oil Company, like the rest of the Kirkuk reservoirs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuter ... icial.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:01 pm

Iraq plans tender for new Kirkuk oil pipeline

Iraq will announce a tender for a new oil export pipeline from the Kirkuk oilfield within a week, the country’s oil minister said on Wednesday.

Last month, Iraq’s central government retook control of the field from the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Production of some 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) has been disrupted since then as Baghdad and Erbil argue about export routes.

“We have already issued a tender to build a new pipeline with a 40 inch diameter and two pumping stations,” Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters in Vienna.

Kurdistan has built another pipeline for Kirkuk exports to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan after the old Kirkuk pipeline belonging to the federal government had been damaged by Islamic State militants.

Kirkuk’s production stopped in mid-October after Iraqi forces dislodged Kurdish fighters from Kirkuk and took over the northern region’s oilfield.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters in Vienna that the new pipeline would be able to ship 300,000 bpd. He said current production from Kirkuk of around 80,000 bpd was being shipped by truck to local power stations and refineries.

Luaibi said Iraq was opening dialogue with Russian state oil firm Rosneft, one of the most active investors in Kurdistan.

Luaibi said the contract model for the new round to offer nine exploration blocks bordering Iran and Kuwait will differ from those signed with foreign companies to develop its southern oilfields. (Reporting by OPEC team, writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Dale Hudson and Louise Heavens)

https://www.reuters.com/article/iraq-oi ... SL8N1NZ4I0
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:03 pm

Genel Energy locates two more oil reservoirs in Kurdistan Region

Britain’s Genel Energy announced on Monday that they have located two oil bearing reservoirs in the northern area of the Taq Taq oil field in the Kurdistan Region which gives hope for increased oil exports amid conflicts with Baghdad.

“Combined with the testing results, management is optimistic for the potential of the northern flank of the Taq Taq field,” said Genel in a press release on the company’s website.

Genel reported that the well encountered good quality oil in Cretaceous Shiranish and Kometan reservoirs which were drilled to a depth of 3,100 meters.

“However, it is too early to estimate what impact the well result will have on reserves, long-term production rates or future investment activity in the northern flank and the field as a whole,” the statement read.

The gross production at the Taq Taq field is currently 15,100 barrels per day (bpd) of oil.

The oilfields of Bai Hassan and Havana, two major oilfields in Kirkuk, run by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) since 2014, fell to Iraqi armed forces during their incursion into the city of Kirkuk on October 16 which has caused a sharp decline in oil exports and revenue for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The relations between the KRG and Iraqi government hit an all-time low following the Kurdish vote on independence held on September 25 but opposed by Baghdad. The vote included the oil-rich Kirkuk province, a disputed area claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.

The KRG used to export an estimated 530,000 bpd to Turkey's Ceyhan port. But following the loss of oil fields in Kirkuk, Erbil is now exporting about 250,000 bpd, putting pressure on the oil-dependent and cash-strapped Kurdish government.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/041220172
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:45 pm

Iraq says Russian energy minister did not
discuss operations in Kurdistan with Iraqi officials


Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak did not discuss operations by Russian oil companies in Iraq’s Kurdistan region with the Iraqi prime minister or oil minister during his trip to Iraq, the Iraqi oil ministry said on Thursday.

“At a time when the oil ministry welcomes all international oil companies to invest and work in Iraq, it also affirms that oil is a sovereign resource, and therefore all contracts ... should be signed with the federal government and the oil ministry,” it said in a statement.

“Anything contrary to that means these entities are liable for all the consequences, legal and financial responsibilities, and damages resulting from that.”

Novak had tweeted on Wednesday that the government of Iraq had no objections regarding operations by Russian oil companies in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russi ... KKBN1E11G6
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:13 am

Tehran, Baghdad Negotiating Date for Kirkuk Crude Exports

The head of Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO is currently holding talks in Iran to determine a start date for oil exports from Iraq’s Kirkuk oilfields, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Wednesday.

An oil official told Reuters last week that some Kirkuk crude would be shipped “in the near future” by trucks to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery, at a rate of 30,000 barrels per day, Reuters reported.

The statements come shortly after Luaibi and his Iranian counterpart Bijan Namdar Zanganeh discussed plans to swap Kirkuk crude in a meeting of OPEC countries in Vienna, Austria, last month.

Plans call for transporting crude oil from Kirkuk in the north of Iraq to a refinery in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah with equal amounts to be shipped to customers from the Persian Gulf terminals.

According to Zanganeh, the first phase of the swap deal will involve trucking crude from Kirkuk field, followed by the construction of a pipeline in the second phase.

Trucking is intended to start at 15,000 barrels per day and cap at 30,000 bpd, but Luaibi said it could increase to 60,000 bpd. The pipeline, which will stretch for about 200 kilometers, is planned to be financed by both governments and become operational in two years.

Iraq has been in talks with Iran for a year over building an export pipeline and the trucking deal could either be an easy win to monetize that stranded crude or a stopgap measure before the pipeline is built.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/e ... de-exports
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