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Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:31 pm

Reuters

Kurdistan resumes oil exports after three-week break squeezes budget

Iraq's Kurdistan was reconnected to oil markets on Friday as pumping from its fields to Turkey resumed, providing the semi-autonomous region with a lifeline amid a budget crisis and a fight against Islamic State.

An industry source told Reuters pumping of Kurdish oil to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan had restarted after a three-week interruption following a military operation on Turkish territory against Kurdish militants. Port sources said Ceyhan could resume loadings later on Friday.

Oil is the main source of Kurdistan's revenues and the suspension further squeezed the already cash-strapped region's finances.

Turkey has invested heavily in Kurdistan's oil industry and on Friday Ankara transferred $200 million to Erbil to help Kurdish finances hit by the pipeline stoppage, two industry sources told Reuters on Friday.

"An emergency aid transfer has been sent to KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) this week.... The halt has deprived the KRG of an important source of revenue," one of the sources said.

Turkey completed a military campaign earlier this week near its southeastern border, shutting the pipeline that normally carries 600,000 barrels per day as the military searched for mines.

Violence has surged after a two-year ceasefire between Turkey and Kurdish militants broke down last July.

Turkey's military launched a large-scale campaign in a handful of towns in the mainly Kurdish southeast after the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) sealed off entire districts and declared autonomy.

Turkey accused the PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, of blowing up the pipeline on Feb. 25 when pumping had already halted. The group denies the accusation.

The outage left the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with just $233 million in net revenue from its oil exports in February - less than one third of what it needs to cover its public payroll.

Even before the pipe closure, the KRG was running a multi-million-dollar monthly deficit as oil prices sank. Conflict with Islamic State militants and an influx of people displaced by violence in the rest of Iraq have increased the strain.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kurdi ... SKCN0WD1YF
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:45 pm

NRT

KIRKUK — North Oil Company (NOC) suspended oil exports from Kirkuk on Friday (March 11) due to the dispute between Baghdad and Erbil.

The Head of the Energy Committee in Kirkuk’s Provincial Council, Ahmad Askari, told NRT the cessation of Kirkuk’s oil exports came from a decision by the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry is expected to hold a meeting on Sunday (March 13) to decide whether to resume oil exports from Kirkuk or continue the suspension.

Kirkuk is believed to have close to 8.7 billion barrels, or about 30 percent of Iraq’s total oil reserves.

NOC used to operate in four of Kirkuk’s oil fields but when the Islamic State (IS) entered the area, two of its oil fields, Bay Hasan and Nan, came under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Natural Resources.

Since a dispute in early 2014 the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has faced an economic crisis which saw its share of the Iraqi federal budget delayed. Erbil increased independent oil exports in an effort to make up for dwindling payments, further straining relations with the central government.

The global slump in oil prices, the fight against IS and an influx of Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis have added more pressure on the KRG’s economy.

The KRG has struggled to pay salaries on time for public employees in the region, with some having gone up to five months without wages.

Senior KRG officials announced earlier this year they would cut government employee salaries by 15 to 75 percent, depending on position and salary bracket, as part of austerity measures to deal with the ongoing economic crisis.

Officials said the remaining salary amount would be credited and paid back to workers once the region emerges from the financial crunch.

http://www.nrttv.com/EN/Details.aspx?Jimare=5814
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:19 pm

Financial Times

Genel reveals new downgrade on Iraqi Kurdistan oil reserves

Oil reserves at Genel, the London-listed producer chaired by former BP boss Tony Hayward, have been downgraded for the second time in weeks.

The company, which produces oil in Iraqi Kurdistan, said on Friday that it had 8 per cent less probable and proven reserves than previously thought after a review at its Tawke field.

Following the audit conducted by its Norwegian partner, DNO, Genel downgraded the level of so-called 2P reserves announced at its annual results last month to 241.9m barrels.

The company also said, however, that it would buy back at least $50m of its bonds, helping reassure investors who have seen the share price crash since Genel announced a major reserves reduction last month.

Genel’s shares were up 13.3 per cent at 90p on Friday morning, giving the company a market value of about £250m. They have plunged more than 93 per cent over the past two years as the company has struggled with the falling cost of oil and problems with securing payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Last month, Genel’s shares fell 42 per cent in a day after it announced there was only a third of the oil left in its Taq Taq well of what it previously thought, triggering a $1bn writedown.

DNO, which announced an operating loss for 2015 of $174m, was broadly flat at 7 NOK. Its 2P reserves have fallen by 20 per cent to 543m barrels from 2014, partly because of production during 2015 and partly because of Friday’s downgrade.

Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO’s executive chairman, said: “We have long taken a diligent, transparent and prudent tack with Tawke and are pleased it continues to rank first in reserves, production and exports among fields operated by international oil companies in Kurdistan.”

Analysts at Barclays Capital said: “Although we struggle to describe a reserve cut as good news, [this] reduction is far better than we believe many investors have feared following Genel’s more substantial downgrade at Taq Taq.”

Stephane Foucaud, an analyst at First Energy, said: “This is probably a relief to some investors who were expecting the worse following the Taq Taq disaster.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/16755866-ecf5 ... bc4a4.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:11 pm

Iraq Says Oil Revenues Rise Despite Low Global Prices

Iraq's monthly oil revenue has risen by more than 30 percent to $2.9 billion despite low global prices that have placed a major strain on the country's economy.

Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a statement Friday that exports inched up to 3.286 million barrels per day in March from 3.225 million the previous month. Last month's total revenue was just $2.2 billion.

The plunge in oil prices has battered Iraq's economy at a time when Baghdad is struggling to combat the Islamic State group. Iraq holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget.

Jihad says last month's average price was $28 per barrel. Iraq's 2016 budget is based on an expected price of $45 per barrel.
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:29 pm

KRG Publishes Monthly Export Report for March 2016

The report details: All oil export volumes through the KRG-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline; all crude oil cargoes lifted from Ceyhan by the buyers; and the revenues received on account by the KRG during the month.

The KRG exported 10,148,487 barrels of crude oil (an average of 327,371 barrels per day (bpd)) in the month of March through the Kurdistan pipeline network to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

Due to circumstances beyond the KRG’s control that occurred within the territory of Turkey, during the month of March there were approximately 12 days of downtime for the export pipeline. This was the continuation of the downtime period that started in the middle of February.

The buyers of the KRG crude oil lifted 10 cargoes (totaling 9,232,371 barrels) according to the volumes allocated to them under their contracts. The cargo volumes lifted exceeded the March KRG export volumes. The excess derived from the previously exported oil accumulated in the storage tanks in Ceyhan.

The KRG received $557,272,177 on account in March (including $350,000,000 in loans and prepayments) from its crude oil export, of which $36,014,177 was allocated to the producers. $4,258,000 was authorized and paid to Biwater Ltd on behalf of the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism.

Link to Report:

http://mnr.krg.org/images/monthlyreport ... h_2016.pdf
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:14 pm

Battle is on over Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk region

As fighting rocks northern Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk area, and air strikes attempt to take out Islamic State positions, the dust will likely either settle in favor of the Iraqi Kurds, who have played a key role in protecting this area from the ISIS advance and who could use Kirkuk to cement their independence ambitions, or in favor of Baghdad, which knows that the loss of Kirkuk means the loss of northern Iraq.

Last weekend, military operations targeting ISIS in northern Iraq took out some 60 Islamic State fighters, according to Iraqi security forces, both in the provinces of Nineveh and Kirkuk — both oil venues.

Some 30 militants were reportedly killed in air strikes near Nineveh’s Qayyarah oil field.

While ISIS has terrorized northern Iraq—a swathe of territory that lies between that controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad—since June 2014, the Sunni jihadist group is only the immediate threat to this area. The real game here, once the dust settles, is between Baghdad and Erbil, the Iraqis and the Iraqi Kurds.

And as ISIS loses ground to the combined force of the Iraqi military and the Kurdish Peshmerga, this end game is getting closer to its climax.

Kirkuk is multi-ethnic, so winning it over has been more challenging, both for Baghdad and for Erbil. But fair percentages of all ethnic groups in the disputed city are now showing support for a referendum that could change the status of this oil-rich venue and bring it closer to Iraqi Kurdistan—or at least further out of Baghdad’s grip.

The referendum would decide whether Kirkuk would become part of Iraqi Kurdistan, or whether it would simply seek greater autonomy from Baghdad—especially when it comes to its oil wealth. But many still favor union with Iraq. The same referendum will be held in Iraqi Kurdistan, which will decide the question of independence from Iraq. The referendum could take place by the end of this year.

It has not fallen on blind eyes among the local leadership of Kirkuk that the Kurdish Peshmerga have been the key force keeping them safe from ISIS.

There is a vacuum right now in the north because the Iraqi army was forced largely to retreat when ISIS moved in the summer of 2014, leaving the Peshmerga in charge—at least in areas that are closer to the Kurdish borders.

Baghdad has been trying to prevent this for some time—most notably since the Kurds started exporting their own oil unilaterally, bypassing the Iraqi central government and getting product to market directly through Turkey.

But the pipeline that runs through Kirkuk concerns both Baghdad and Erbil.

Kirkuk has already decided it wants its own oil company, which means separating off from the Iraqi North Oil Company (NOC), and the Kurds are publicly supporting Kirkuk’s bid, which is intended to gain more localized control over the province’s oil wealth. There isn’t much Baghdad can do about this legally, because constitutionally Kirkuk can launch its own oil company if it starts producing over 100,000 barrels of oil per day. It already produces over 150,000 bpd.

It’s all about the oil, and Kirkuk is home to about 10 percent of Iraq’s total reserves of 140 billion barrels.

And now Baghdad will start punishing Kirkuk for its disloyalty. It’s already decided that it won’t allow the province any budget for railway development, which is much-needed. It’s not a brilliant move on Baghdad’s part, and will likely only strengthen the resolve for a referendum as the move is seen to be an overt attempt to keep Kirkuk from taking on strategic projects.

Baghdad is also hitting out at the Kurds by holding back 150,000 bpd from being exported from Kirkuk, through Iraqi Kurdistan. Essentially, the Iraqi’s have turned off the northern taps. This strikes out at an already stretched budget for the Kurds who were also hoping to add 150,000 bpd to their supply this year, but will likely have to settle for 100,000 bpd. In all, that would mean 200,000 bpd less going through Iraqi Kurdistan, and it had already lost big with a pipeline problem that saw the Kirkuk-Ceyhan leg closed down for the month.

Baghdad is trying to starve them out by holding back oil. It’s taking a gamble here because it needs the Kurdish Peshmerga to protect Kirkuk from ISIS—but it’s a gamble Baghdad thinks it will win because it knows exactly how important Kirkuk is to the KRG’s independence ambitions. With Kirkuk’s oil, Kurdistan has a better chance of going it alone. But whether the Peshmerga will keep fighting if they aren’t being paid is another question.

When they root out ISIS, that’s when the real game will begin.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/mar ... /82726530/
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:21 am

Iran Could Replace Ceyhan for Kirkuk Oil

Negotiations are underway between Tehran and Baghdad to transfer crude oil from Kirkuk fields to Iran instead of sending it to the Turkish city of Ceyhan under a possible swap agreement or in return for Iran's engineering services, secretary-general of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce said.

"Should the Kurdistan Regional Government fail to reach an agreement with the central government in Baghdad on oil export policy, the transfer of Kirkuk crude to Iran will be feasible," Hamid Hosseini was also quoted as saying by ISNA on Monday.

Following Kurdistan’s independence vote, Baghdad has taken steps to bring oil exports under federal authority, calling on other countries to deal exclusively with the central government regarding oil sales.

Pointing to the old pipeline that exported Kirkuk oil to Turkey, Hosseini said, "The Kirkuk Ceyhan pipeline crosses territory taken by Islamic State militants in 2014 and recaptured by US-backed Iraqi forces over the past two years. The pipeline is in dire need of rehabilitation."

According to the official, comprehensive surveys are being conducted to check whether it is financially and technically feasible to transfer Iraq's crude to Iran.

"If crude transfer venture from Kirkuk is launched, close to 650,000 barrels of oil can be delivered to Iran per day," Hosseini said, adding that it is very likely that a pipeline be laid to send oil from Basra to Abadan and the same amount will be swapped from one of Iranian oil terminals, namely Kharg in the Persian Gulf.

"We can also provide them with engineering services to complete their energy and power projects in return for transferring crude to Iran," he said.

The official said that although the two states are rivals in the global oil market, they can collaborate in oil projects as they share a large number of massive hydrocarbon reserves, namely Azadegan, Yaran, Yadavaran, Azar, Dehloran, West Paydar and Naft-Shahr.

"Unlike Iranian oilfields that are mostly offshore, Iraqi fields are located onshore," he said, noting that they do not require huge investment for development and can be expanded by a single contractor if the two sides reach an agreement.

According to Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, negotiations are underway with Iraq to develop three joint oilfields.

“As soon as talks produce the desired results, on the basis of a master plan, the oilfields in Kermanshah and Khuzestan provinces will be developed by one contractor,” Zanganeh said.

Energy experts, including Hosseini, believe that using a single contractor to implement the plan can help the two states cut unnecessary expenses.

Highlighting Iranian companies' capacity to transfer know-how to Iraq, Hosseini noted that Iran can provide Iraq with oil equipment, training and drilling services.

Drilling Cooperation

In a meeting between a delegation of senior executives from Iraq's National Oil Company

headed by officials from Iraq's Zigar Oil Company and the National Iranian Drilling Company in Ahvaz on Monday, the two sides discussed cooperation in undertaking drilling ventures in Iraq.

"The two firms have reached a preliminary agreement to establish NIDC 's presence in developing Iraqi oilfields," Saeed Heidarian, an NIDC official said, adding that playing an active role in Iraqi oil projects and gaining a foothold in the Iraqi drilling market always topped NIDC's agenda.

According to Heidarian, the state-owned NIDC—a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company—is in charge of all offshore and onshore drilling activities. The company’s services include well logging, cementing and acidizing, drill stem test, well testing, training, development and general services.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/e ... kirkuk-oil
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:43 am

DNO says Kurdish oil operations continuing without interruption

Though lower than the second quarter, Norwegian company said its third quarter revenue was up 48 percent from last year.

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO said Thursday it was moving full speed ahead in the Kurdish north of Iraq, with operations proceeding without interruption.

The company said its operating profit soared in the third quarter and revenues improved year-on-year. Third quarter revenue of $73 million was down 11 percent from the previous term, but 48 percent higher than the same period last year.

DNO said third quarter production averaged 115,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Kurdish assets represented the clear majority of the company's portfolio, with output at 110,500 barrels per day during the quarter.

The company in September assumed the role of operator after acquiring 50 percent of Exxon Mobil's stake in the Baeshiqa reserve area, but conceded that Exxon's early efforts were disrupted by security concerns related to the regional fight against the group calling itself the Islamic State.

Iraqi and Kurdish paramilitary forces engaged in battle in the weeks that followed a controversial Kurdish referendum for independence from federal Iraq. As Kurdish forces conceded contested territory, Iraqi troops seized control over the oil fields in Kirkuk, cutting off a revenue lifeline for the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

The Kurdish referendum coincided more or less with the liberation of parts of northern Iraq from the Islamic State.

Oil leaves the Kurdish region from a pipeline and by trucks to a Turkish port at Ceyhan. DNO said operations inside Kurdish territory are continuing without interuption.

"The company has received year-to-date export payments totaling $297 million net to DNO, up from $210 million during the full-year 2016," it said. "With continuing export payments, DNO will step up investments in Kurdistan in 2018."

Earlier this week, the Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources said it was postponing a London oil and gas conference meant to showcase the regional potential "due to the current logistical and other circumstances."

https://www.upi.com/Energy-News/2017/11 ... m_medium=1
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:23 am

Iraqi oil minister promises fuel for Kurdistan Region

As temperatures drop in the mountainous Kurdistan Region, Iraq's oil ministry has guaranteed fuel deliveries to the four provinces.

“We will start providing 30 million liters of oil next week to the cities of Sulaimani, Erbil, Duhok and other cities in north Iraq,” said Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi in a statement on Saturday.

The decision by the Iraqi oil minister came after the Kurdistan Regional Government said that the central government was not sending as much medicine and fuel supplies as before.

Iraq's health minister told his Kurdish counterpart on Wednesday that medical deliveries would resume and the reduction was not due to political relations between the two capitals.

Officials in the Kurdistan Region have said that its health infrastructure has been strained because of hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis who came for shelter during the ISIS war, and recently up to 150,000 displaced, mostly-Kurdish, people from Kirkuk.

“The ministry continues to provide heating oil to refugees camps and liberated areas in northern provinces,” added Luaibi.

Erbil's economy has been heavily reliant upon oil revenues. Several oil fields previously under KRG control are now under Baghdad's.

On Friday, Luaibi announced some of Kirkuk's oil would be trucked to Iran, and in exchange, Iraq's southern provinces would receive Iranian oil.

Kurdish leaders have objected to Baghdad's recent use of “northern provinces,” and see it as an affront against their people. The Kurdistan Region was guaranteed in the Iraqi constitution of 2005.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/business/11112017
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:35 am

Iraq to sell Kirkuk oil to Iran

Iraq and Iran agreed in principle to export Kirkuk oil to Iran, according to the Iraqi oil ministry.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said on Friday in a statement that 30,000-60,000 barrels of oil a day would be exported to Iran's Kermanshah province.

The deal was signed in Baghdad between Iraq's State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) and Iran, al-Luaibi said.

The amount of oil exported would be increased after pipelines were installed, he added.

Al-Luaibi said the oil would be trucked over Iraq's border to Kermanshah.

"The [Iraqi] government aims to carry out oil and strategic projects with Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Syria," al-Luaibi said, adding that the deal with Iran would be signed after technical and administrative aspects were settled.

Last month, Iraqi forces seized control of the oil fields in Kirkuk from the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, which took control of the disputed province in 2014.

The move came amid tension between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) over the controversial referendum on September 25 for Kurdish independence.

Iraq is the second largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, and holds the world's fifth-largest proven crude oil reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/i ... 38031.html
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:39 pm

Oil seen as real prize of Iran's Kurdish adventure

After helping Iraq stifle a Kurdish push for independence, Iran is now positioning itself to take control of oil exports from the region’s giant Kirkuk field, with the first deliveries expected within days, officials and trading sources said.

In the weeks since September’s failed Kurdish independence referendum, Iraq has agreed for the first time to divert crude from Kirkuk province, which it retook from the Kurds, to Iran, where it will supply a refinery in the city of Kermanshah.

Iran is locked in a proxy war with its regional rival and U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia. As well as Iraq, it has been extending its influence in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, raising increasing concerns in Washington and Riyadh.

Under the new arrangement, the first oil will be trucked across the border in the coming days. Initially Iran will receive 15,000 barrels per day worth nearly $1 million, rising gradually to 60,000 bpd, according to Iraqi officials and trading sources.

Baghdad and Tehran have also revived a project to build a pipeline to carry oil from Iraq’s Kirkuk fields to central Iran and onwards for export from the Gulf.

Hamid Hosseini, the Iranian secretary-general of the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, said Iran want to build a pipeline that can take as much as 650,000 bpd of Kurdish oil for its domestic refineries and for exports.

The pipeline would replace existing export routes for crude from northern Iraq via Turkey and the Mediterranean and would be a blow to Ankara’s hopes of becoming an energy hub for Europe.

It would also be evidence of a U.S. failure to prevent a rapprochement between its ally Iraq and one of its biggest political foes, Iran, which is rapidly regaining influence in the Middle East.

That is in part due to general Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds force, the international branch of the Revolutionary Guards, which is also taking a keen interest in Iran’s oil business in Iraq.

Soleimani visited Iraqi Kurdistan in September to warn the region against holding an independence vote. He was also involved in the Iraqi army’s recapture of Kirkuk.

“In Iraq, Iranian forces are working to sow discord as we recently saw in Kirkuk, where the presence of Quds force commander, Qassem Soleimani, exacerbated tensions among the Kurds and the government in Baghdad,” U.S. Senator John McCain said in Washington last week.

KURDISH DIVISION

“The Kurdish dream of being a big oil exporter is in tatters,” said a source close to the government in Erbil, who predicted that “Iran will be king of the game”.

The Kurds’ bid for independence angered Turkey and Iran, which both have large Kurdish populations and condemned the referendum as destabilizing the region. The United States also called on Kurdistan to scrap the vote.

But it was probably internal Kurdish divisions which doomed the referendum to failure, local political sources believe. Oil was at the heart of this dispute.

The Kirkuk fields were controlled by Iraq’s state oil firm SOMO before being taken over by Kurdish forces in 2014, when the Iraqi army retreated in the face of attacks by Islamic state.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (PUK), in Sulaimaniya, then accused the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) party of then President Massoud Barzani, based in the capital Erbil, of not sharing the oil wealth. The PUK wanted to export oil from Kirkuk to Iran.

“We tried to make Barzani accept joint management between Erbil and Sulaimaniya over the fields but he strongly opposed it,” said Sherzad Yaba, a political adviser close to the PUK.

“To put an end to the illegitimate control of the KDP over Kirkuk oil, senior members from the PUK contacted both Baghdad and Tehran and encouraged the Iranians to build a pipeline to export Kirkuk crude through Bandar Abbas port,” said Yaba.

The project lay dormant even though Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi and his Iranian counterpart Bijal Zanganeh signed a memorandum on the project in February.

After the referendum, the KDP accused the PUK of striking a deal with Iran to withdraw from Kirkuk, which the PUK denies.

The recapture of Kirkuk was coordinated with Soleimani and left Iraqi government troops in control of half of all Kurdish oil output.

As Kurdish engineers fled the fields, output from Kirkuk was suspended and has remained shut for the past five weeks as Baghdad and Erbil argue over the revenue split.

With output of over 300,000 bpd suspended since mid-October, losses are approaching $1 billion, according to Kurdish industry sources.

To stop the losses, Iraq and the PUK resumed talks with Iran, according to Iraqi and Kurdish officials.

Officials from Iraq’s and Iran’s state oil firms, SOMO and NICO, met last month to iron out details of oil sales to the Kermanshah refinery, the acting chief of SOMO, Alaa al-Yasiri, said.

He also said active discussions were taking place about the pipeline project.

THE GUARDS RISING

Even though discussions between Baghdad and Tehran have been conducted between oil ministry officials and the Chamber of Commerce, the Revolutionary Guards are poised to step in.

“Any oil transaction between Iran and Iraq should be approved by the Revolutionary Guards, not the oil ministry.” said Reza Mostafavi Tabatabaei, president of London-based ENEXD, a firm involved in the energy equipment business in the Middle East.

Those dealings are overseen by the desk responsible for Iran’s investments in Iraq at the president’s office and are run by the Revolutionary Guards.

The pipeline project will be the Revolutionary Guards’ reward to the Kurds for helping with the recapture of Kirkuk, said Tabatabaei.

Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by Giles Elgood

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-midea ... SKBN1DE1UY
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Re: Kurdistan Oil & Gas Development

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:09 pm

Iraq, Turkey discuss resuming Kirkuk oil exports

Top Iraqi oil officials met with a Turkish energy delegation in Baghdad to discuss resuming Kirkuk's oil exports through the Turkish port of Ceyhan which were halted early in November.

“A high level Turkish energy delegation met with senior oil officials, including officials from state-run SOMO, to discuss ways to restart Kirkuk oil exports,” Iraqi’s oil ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

SOMO is Iraq’s State Organization for Marketing of Oil and negotiates trade with foreign parties.

“The priority is to resume oil exports from Kirkuk through the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline once it has been rehabilitated or replaced by a new one,” Luaibi said during a visit to Kirkuk’s oil fields.

Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi announced on Monday that Iraq plans to double Kirkuk’s oil exports to 1 million barrels per day (bpd).

Oil exports from Kirkuk to Turkey's Ceyhan port via the Kurdistan Region’s pipeline were halted by Baghdad on November 1.

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.

Iraq forces are currently working to secure the route for the Kirkuk pipeline that Baghdad plans to rehabilitate in order to export oil via Turkey.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/16112017
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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

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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