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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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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:53 pm

Iraq invites bids for new oil pipeline

Iraq's oil ministry on Sunday called for bids for the construction of a pipeline to allow oil exports to resume from the northern province of Kirkuk to neighbouring Turkey.

The pipeline is to run for 350 kilometres (200 miles) and have a capacity of more than a million barrels per day, the ministry said.

It is to replace one built in the 1980s that was damaged in attacks by the Islamic State jihadist group.

Iraq had exported 250,000 to 400,000 barrels per day through that pipeline before IS jihadists swept across large parts of the country and neighbouring Syria in 2014.

The new pipeline will replace a section of the route from oil-rich Kirkuk province, under Baghdad's control since October, to the Mediterranean Turkish port of Ceyhan.

It will transport crude from the area of Baiji, in the province of Salaheddine to the south of Kirkuk, to the Fishkhabur border post with Turkey further north.

Foreign and domestic companies have a month to bid for the project, a quarter of which will be awarded to local companies, the ministry said.

Iraqi government and paramilitary forces moved in to take over Kirkuk and its oilfields after Iraqi Kurds in September voted for independence in a controversial referendum opposed by Baghdad.

The Baghdad government has declared victory over IS in Iraq, while US-backed forces are pressing a campaign to expel the jihadists from eastern Syria.

Iraq's monthly oil revenues rose 27.4 percent in November compared with September, according to oil ministry figures published Sunday.

Oil income was $4.9 billion (4.1 billion euros) in September, when the price of a barrel of crude was hovering around $50. That rose to $6.2 billion in November on slightly higher sales, as crude prices topped $57 per barrel.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/ar ... eline.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:22 pm

Oil prices peak due to tight market conditions and supply disruptions

Oil prices peaked this week to a two-and-a-half year high due to what traders are calling tight market conditions with continued supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia coupled with supply disruptions in Libya and the North Sea.

“Given the much stronger price response to supply disruptions in the wake of OPEC supply cuts, the market is poised to make further gains,” stated Stephen Innes, Head of Trading for the Singapore-based Asia/Pacific brokerage firm Oanda.

Brent Crude has increased from $62.63 per barrel on November 30 up to $66.16 as of Thursday with US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude increasing from $57.40 per barrel up to $59.78. WTI increased to over $60 bpd earlier this week, a first since June 2015. In the same time frame Brent Crude's lowest prices fell to $34.61 bpd in January 2016 with WTI's lowest prices falling to $36.32 bpd in the same month.

OPEC and Russia-led production cuts began in January of this year and are scheduled to continue through the end of 2018.

Additionally, an attack on an oil pipeline in Libya this week caused a supply disruption of approximately 100,000 bpd and a crack in a Forties oil pipeline earlier this month in the North Sea lost roughly a capacity of around 450,000 bpd.

Iraq’s Oil Minister, Jabar al-Luaibi predicted that oil market prices will significantly improve in 2018.

“I am optimistic, and during the first quarter of next year there will be more balance between supply and demand, which will reflect positively on improving global oil prices,” Luaibi said on Monday, speaking at a signing ceremony with China’s Zhenhua Oil, where the two countries reached a deal for Zhenhua to develop Iraq’s East Baghdad oilfield.

Iraq will further benefit from oil productions from Kirkuk which was previously controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The Kurdistan Region economy is heavily dependent on its energy sector.

Kirkuk’s oil fields came under federal control when Iraqi forces took the disputed areas in mid-October following the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum held in September.

The Kurdistan Region, since 2013 has been exporting oil to world markets through a pipeline that terminates at the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil announced on Sunday they are now accepting bids from potential builders for a new oil pipeline to run from the Kirkuk to Turkey’s Cehyan port since scrapping plans to rehabilitate their existing line that had lain unused since it was damaged by militants in 2014, prior to ISIS capturing territory it ran through.

Before the federal government’s takeover, the KRG was producing some 650,000 bpd from Kirkuk to Cehyan. The federal government halted all KRG oil exports from in early November.

Oil exports in KRG-controlled areas are about 250,000 bpd, down from an estimated 550,000 bpd in early October.

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has said that the KRG’s revenues “have been slashed by half” since the loss of the oil-fields in Kirkuk in mid-October.

Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest exporter of oil following Saudi Arabia. Russia and OPEC announced in November they had agreed to cut oil production through 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on December 15 that energy giant Rosneft’s oil deals with the KRG are beneficial to all parties, including Iraq.

“Our companies such as Rosneft work in Iraqi Kurdistan. We believe this benefits Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Russian economy,” Putin said.

The KRG has continued to pay debts to foreign oil developers, most recently to DNO and ShaMaran.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/business/28122017
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:36 pm

Iraq invites firms to invest in new Kirkuk pipeline

Iraq has invited local and international companies to invest in the oil export pipeline extension, which extends from the Kirkuk oilfield to the Iraqi-Turkish border, a media report said.

The new project will run side-by-side with the old strategic pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, added the Iraq Business News report.

The pipeline will run for over 350 km, and will be 48 inches in diameter, Assim Jihad, the spokesman of the Ministry of Oil, was quoted as saying in the report.

It will be able to transport 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and will be built on a BOOT basis investment method, which includes the construction, property, operation and property transfer, he added.

The project includes also the construction of a gas pipeline, pumps and reservoirs, in addition to the other completed accessories and services. The contract also commits the winner consortium companies to share with the local companies with 25 per cent or more of the project proportion within the consortium.

The last date for the companies to present their participation letter is January 24, Jihad said.

http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_334848.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:50 am

Abadi asked oil minister to prepare for talks with Kurdistan

Iraqi’s prime minister requested the oil minister to prepare for talks with the Kurdistan Region about oil, the minister revealed, adding he expected a visit to take place within the next few days.

“No time frame has been set yet,” said Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi in an interview with Iraq’s al-Mirbad radio. “It is predicted that the talks will be held in the next few days.”

When talks do take place, Luaibi said he anticipates they will be fruitful and positive.

The oil and gas issue has been one of the major factors behind strained and deteriorating relations between Erbil and Baghdad over the course of the past ten years, despite numerous talks.

Baghdad is opposed to the Kurdistan Region independently exporting its oil and gas and the two governments have had disagreements over disputed Kirkuk’s oil.

Oilfields in Kirkuk, which had been operated by the Kurdistan Region since 2014 after Kurdish forces secured the province in the face of ISIS advances, fell to the Iraqi government on October 16 after Peshmerga pulled out their troops and Iraqi forces and Shiite militias moved in.

The two governments have disputed Kurdistan’s oil exports, with Baghdad claiming the KRG is exporting enough oil to meet its expenses.

The KRG hired Deloitte to conduct an audit of its oil and gas sector.

On Friday evening, KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources tweeted figures, subject to audit, of its oil exports for the last four months of 2017, showing a dramatic drop in exports after losing Kirkuk.

    KRG oil export volumes (subject to audit):
    2017 average: 445,301 bpd
    Sep: 514,051 bpd
    Oct: 384,659 bpd
    Nov: 252,301 bpd
    Dec: 263,542 bpd
The KRG has on many occasions expressed willingness to begin talks with Baghdad to resolve their outstanding issues and international allies, including Germany and France, threw their support behind Kurdish calls for talks within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.

The past few days have seen the first real progress as technical delegations from Erbil and Baghdad have met in both capitals, largely discussing the matter of the central government paying the KRG’s civil servant salaries. Baghdad requested the employee lists of the health and education ministries to audit them in order to start sending their salaries.

Delegations from three opposition parties, Gorran, the Islamic Group (Komal), and the newly founded Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ), visited Baghdad on Thursday. Bafel Talabani, the eldest son of the late Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and an influential member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), separately visited the Iraqi capital on the same day.

Both held talks with senior Baghdad officials, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/050120184
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:03 pm

Iraq to export Kirkuk oil to Iran before end-January

Iraq will start exporting oil from the northern Kirkuk fields to Iran before the end of January, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters on Sunday in Baghdad.

About 30,000 barrels per day of crude will be trucked to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery in the first instance, he said. '‘God willing, we will start before the end of the month,‘’ he added. X(

Trucking crude to Iran comes under a swap agreement announced last month by the two countries to allow a resumption of oil exports from Kirkuk.

Iraq and Iran have agreed to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced from Kirkuk for Iranian oil to be delivered to southern Iraq, Luaibi said last month.

Kirkuk crude sales have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.

Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of Islamic State. The Kurdish move prevented the militants from seizing the region’s oilfields.

Iraq and Iran are also planning to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk to avoid having to truck the crude, Luaibi said last month.

The planned pipeline could replace the existing export route from Kirkuk via Turkey and the Mediterranean.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran ... SKBN1EW08K
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:42 pm

Iraq Bans Kurdish Firm From Operating Kirkuk Oil Fields

After Iraq’s federal forces recaptured the oil fields in Kirkuk in October, the Iraqi Parliament voted on Monday to ban Kurdish engineering company Kar Group from operating Kirkuk’s oil fields.

Baghdad—which never recognized the legitimacy of the Kurdistan region’s referendum at end-September—moved in October to take control over the oil-rich area around Kirkuk.

In mid-October, Iraqi government forces seized the oil fields around Kirkuk, which had been under Kurdish control since 2014. The military maneuver knocked some 350,000 bpd of crude oil production offline, and led to oil prices spiking on concerns of unstable supply from the region.

The Iraq-Kurdistan conflict was the first of a series of geopolitical events in the Middle East (the other being the Saudi purge) that pushed Brent oil prices above $60 a barrel toward the end of October.

Now Iraqi lawmakers say that Kar Group is refusing to collaborate with Iraqi state-held North Oil Company (NOC) and hand the Khurmala oil field over to federal government control, according to Reuters. The Kurds, on the other hand, claim that the Khurmala oil field is within the boundaries of the Kurdistan region.

The Iraqi Parliament also authorized today NOC to take over oil production and exports at the Khurmala oil field, which could raise Iraq’s production and exports.

The ban on Kar Group is the latest of restrictions that Baghdad has imposed on Kurdistan in retaliation to the September referendum. Iraq has also banned direct international flights to and from Kurdistan.

Iraq’s Parliament also asked the central bank to track cash deposits at foreign banks from sales of Kurdish oil.

According to an S&P Global Platts survey from Monday, Iraq—OPEC’s second-largest producer behind Saudi Arabia—pumped 4.41 million bpd in December, the highest level in three months, as it increased exports from the south to offset production and export losses in the north. Iraq’s contribution to the OPEC cuts is to keep production at 4.351 million bpd or below.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News ... ields.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:43 pm

Iraqi government orders probe into Kurdistan region’s oil exports

The Iraqi parliament on Monday launched an investigation into the quantities of oil exported by the Kurdish regional government (KRG) during the past three years from Kirkuk’s oil fields and the Kurdish region.

It is seeking to prosecute officials involved in oil smuggling and to monitor their bank accounts inside and outside of Iraq.

KRG took advantage of the dramatic collapse of the Iraqi Army in June 2014 to drive Iraqi security forces out of the northern oil hub city of Kirkuk, its lucrative oil fields and all the nearby disputed areas. It seized control of oil exports from the area until Oct. 26 when Baghdad launched a huge military offensive to drive Kurdish forces into the Kurdish region.

KRG has been exporting an average of 400,000-650,000 bpd from Kirkuk and the fields of the Kurdish region, but exports have halved since October as the federal government in Baghdad imposed a series of punitive measures including banning international flights from and to the region and shut down the border crossings between the region and Turkey, Iran and Syria.

The resolution approved by the parliament states that the investigation committee, which has to file its report in four weeks, will consist of the members of the Oil and Gas, Financial and Integrity parliamentary committees. The committees will investigate the quantities of oil exported during the period in which the fields were under the control of KRG, and the funds obtained from sales of oil, starting from July 1, 2014 until today.

“The (Kurdish region) has benefited from Kirkuk oil exports, and there are big questions relating to the revenues of oil,” Masoud Haider, a Kurdish federal lawmaker and a member of the Parliamentary Financial committee, told Arab News.

“We as the Kurdish bloc have many inquiries related to the (oil) revenues and the expenditure ... loads of oil has been exported (by KRG) but we (the Kurds in the region) do not know where the revenues go,” Haider said.

“(In Kurdistan), there are 120,000 people who receive government salaries who have not received more than a third of their salaries since 2014.”

A senior Iraqi federal oil official talking to Arab News on condition of anonymity said that the data of the federal Oil Ministry recorded in the past three years indicated that KRG had exported 800,000–850,000 bpd until October.

“KRG officials said that they were exporting just 500,000 bpd and using the rest for domestic consumption within the region,” the official said. “This is not true. 350,000 bpd is a very big amount and it is not reasonable to be used for the daily consumption in the region.”

“Our information suggest that there have been large oil-smuggling operations taking place in the region on an almost daily basis until today. They (the involved officials) used the tankers to smuggle oil of Kirkuk and the region to Turkey and Iran,” the official said.

A senior Kurdish lawmaker involved in talks between Baghdad and Kurdistan to solve issues between the two sides, including about oil, declined to be named but told Arab News that the records of the Oil and Gas Parliamentary Committee showed that oil exports carried out by KRG has dropped to 270,000–300,000 bpd since October, “but oil smuggling to Turkey and Iran has been continuing.”

“Daily, 60,000 bpd has been smuggled by tankers to Iran and 100,000–150,000 bpd to Turkey,” the Kurdish lawmaker said.
The parliament resolution also asked the federal Oil Ministry to stop the work of “Kar” company — which has been appointed by KRG since 2014 to supervise oil exports from the Kirkuk fields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan — hand oil production in the Kirkuk oil fields to the state-owned North Oil Company (NOC) and submit all oil exports to the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company (SOMO).
“Kar” is a Kurdish oil company operating in Kurdistan. Kurdish lawmakers told Arab News that “Kar” is owned and established by Masoud Barazani, the former president of the Kurdish region and the most influential Kurdish figure in the country.

“The work of this (Kar) company in Kirkuk oil fields is unconstitutional as this is a private company and everything related to oil and gas should be under the control and supervision of the federal Oil Ministry,” A’awad Al-A’awadi, a member of the parliamentary Oil and Gas Committee, told Arab News.

“This company was appointed by the (Kurdish) regional government and KRG has no right to practice any works related to run the oil and gas in Kirkuk or anywhere else,” A’awadi said.

Monday’s parliamentary resolution orders the Iraqi Central Bank to follow up amounts deposited in Iraqi and foreign banks as a result of the sales of oil extracted from the Kirkuk fields and the Kurdish region and present a detailed report including the amounts of money and names of officials who benefited from the sales.

“The government needs to know where the money gone, because this money were not spent in Kurdistan,” a senior federal official close to the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi told Arab News on condition of anonymity.

“The Kurdish officials have admitted that they were exporting 500,000 bpd in the past three years, but they refuse to deliver any details relating to where the money went and how it was spent,” the official said.

“They were selling at prices below the price of SOMO by $6-10, in addition to the quantities of smuggled oil which they refuse to recognize,” he said.

“This file (the Kurdish officials involved in oil smuggling) cannot be closed (until there is) details about who (is involved), how much (money they got) and where (the banks accounts where the money deposited).”

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1221261/business-economy
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:47 pm

Vancouver junior producing oil in Kurdistan

Lundin-backed junior oil exploration company recently began producing oil in Kurdistan

Please click on image to enlarge:
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The Atrush play in Northern Iraq (Kurdistan) is believed to hold vast oil reserves.

A Vancouver junior oil exploration company backed by the Lundin Group of Companies says it continues to produce oil in a “safe and secure manner” in Kurdistan (Northern Iraq).

In a January 9 press release that seems aimed at calming any jitters investors might have over the dispute between the Iraqi government and Kurdistan, ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. (TSX-V:SNM) confirmed that it and its partners continue to produce 27,000 barrels of oil per day from the Atrush play north of Erbil.

ShaMaran owns 20.1% of the Atrush block, which is said to be the most underexplored region of Northern Iraq’s highly productive oil and gas fields.

The main operator is Abu Dhabi-based TAQA Atrush BV. ShaMaran is one of the companies drilling for oil in the Atrush play. Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE:MRO) also has a 15% stake in the Atrush block.

ShaMaran and its partners began producing oil and shipping it via the Kurdistan Export Pipeline in July 2017 and started receiving its first payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government in October and November.

On December, ShaMaran issued a press release stating that TAQA Atrush BV had received US$10.7 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which was US$600,000 short of what had been invoiced.

“The Atrush co-venturers have been advised by the KRG that the shortfall is related to an accounting error and that payment of the (US$600,000) will be issued in the new year,” ShaMaran stated in a news release on December 19, 2017.

ShaMaran is one of a handful of junior oil exploration and development companies owned by the Lundin Group, which is headquartered in Vancouver. ShaMaran is focused exclusively on Kurdistan.

The company appears to have continued its exploration in the Atrush fields throughout the period between 2014 and 2017 when the Islamic State (ISIS) controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria. Kurdistan was one of the few regions where ISIS never gained a significant foothold.

Despite their alliance against ISIS, the Iraqi and Kurdish governments have an ongoing dispute over the ownership of the rich oil fields of Northern Iraq and there have been recent skirmishes between the two.

Kurdistan has functioned as an autonomous state of Iraq since the 1990s. But following a referendum on independence in September, the Iraqi government has been asserting itself. It recently expelled Kurdish forces from in Kirkurk and Iraqi forces have also secured the border between Kurdistan and Turkey.

https://www.biv.com/article/2018/1/vanc ... kurdistan/
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