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Iraq to Sell Heavy Basra Crude from May

Iraq to Sell Heavy Basra Crude from May

By John Lee.

Reuters cites sources as saying that Basra Heavy crude, with an API gravity of 24 degrees, will be sold from May.

It will be allocated to companies with technical service contracts, such as Lukoil , Petronas, CNPC, CNOOC, BP, ExxonMobil and Shell.

The State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) had previously abandoned plans to split its oil shipments into heavy and light grades due to logistical problems.

(Source: Reuters)

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

India Builds Oil Reserves with Basra Crude

India Builds Oil Reserves with Basra Crude

By John Lee.

India’s oil ministry has instructed state refiners Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) to buy eight million barrels of Basra crude oil for delivery in May and June.

The country is looking to build up its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) at the current low market prices.

A source told Reuters that Basra oil suits the refineries on India’s east coast, adding that Iraq is “struggling to find buyers due to the deteriorating quality of Basra crude.

The State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) is to offer both ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ grades of Basra crude from May.

(Source: IBT)

(India image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

Basra Approves $216m Power Projects

Basra Approves $216m Power Projects

By John Lee.

Basra governorate has reportedly approved 60 new power projects valued at a total of $218 million (255 billion Iraqi dinars) within its 2015 budget.

The projects were given the green light at an emergency meeting of the governing council  on Monday, and were fewer than desired because of budget constraints.

Emirates 24|7 quotes a Basra official as saying that the governorate, Iraq’s wealthiest province, approved a budget of about 4.3 trillion dinars (3.6 billion dollars) for 2015, but was allocated only 1.3 trillion dinars (1.11 billion dollars) by Baghdad due to lower oil prices and soaring military spending.

(Source: Emirates 24|7)

(Electricity image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works7 Comments

Shares in APR Rise on Basra Contract

Shares in APR Rise on Basra Contract

By John Lee.

Shares in APR Energy were up 3 percent on Wednesday morning after the company announced that it has signed a contract renewal for its power generation contract in Iraq, taking the term through the end of 2015.

The power plant has been in operation since 2012 and comprises six GE TM2500 mobile gas turbines capable of generating more than 120MW of electricity. APR Energy acquired the plant in 2013 as part of its acquisition of GE’s power rental business.

Located in Basra, the gas-fired power plant provides reliable base load power and grid stability to the population of the Basra province, as well as supporting oil and gas, petrochemical and agricultural industries.

Commenting on the contract renewal, APR Energy’s Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ranjit Singh said:

Our fast-track solution is providing Basra residents and industries with reliable power, helping to fill critical needs and supporting economic and social stability. Mobile turbine technology helps stabilise the grid, uses approximately a third of the space required by a mobile reciprocating engine site and requires only a small team to operate and maintain.

“This renewal reflects our customer’s ongoing demand for electricity, as well as our proven ability to deliver large-scale power quickly, reliably and consistently.

Laurence Anderson (pictured), APR Energy Chief Executive Officer added:

I’m very pleased to have renewed this significant contract in Iraq, which follows on the heels of our 135MW contract extension and expansion in Indonesia.

“Our focus following the acquisition of the GE power rental business has been to renew the former GE contracts under more favourable terms or else relocate the assets to higher-value opportunities, and this renewal is very much aligned with that strategy.

(Sources: APR Energy, Yahoo!)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works4 Comments

Basra Gateway Terminal Up and Running

Basra Gateway Terminal Up and Running

By John Lee.

Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) announced on Thursday that its operations at the Port of Umm Qasr are now fully operational.

BGT chief executive Phillip Marsham said in a statement:

We are attracting plenty of interest from container lines and have enjoyed a good pace of cargo buildup since we opened the doors after full takeover in November 2014 …

“Our focus is on performance, employing purpose-built container handling gear and rolling out state-of-the-art IT systems that include value-added links for customers.

“STS crane performance is now peaking at over 30 moves per hour and considerable attention is being focused on training staff, improving terminal security and creating a strong health and safety environment.

The Loadstar reports that BGT, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), plans to upgrade the existing facilities at Berth 20 and construct an entirely new container/multipurpose facility, with the first phase consisting of a 250-meter berth and 20 hectares of backup land.

Piling for the new quay is also underway, which will give the new facility a 600-meter berth and 55-hectare backup area.

BGT is a subsidiary of ICTSI, an international operator of common-user container terminals serving the global container shipping industry. ICTSI is the largest port operator in the Philippines and has a portfolio of 29 container terminal operations in 21 countries across six continents.

(Source: The Loadstar)

Posted in TransportationComments Off

Turkey Sends Power-Generation Ship to Basra

Turkey Sends Power-Generation Ship to Basra

By John Lee.

Turkey is to send a power-generation ship to Basra to help alleviate its electricity shortages.

The announcement was made by Turkish Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, on Sunday during the 17th Turkey-Iraq Joint Economic Commission meeting in Baghdad.

According to Worldbulletin, the ship will add 410 megawatts to the existing capacity of 250 MW in the city.

Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding is a major player in the power ship market.

(Source: Worldbulletin)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Public Works2 Comments

Basra Officials Dine with IBBC Members

Basra Officials Dine with IBBC Members

His Excellency the Governor of Basra, Dr Majid Al-Nasrawi, together with representatives of the Basra Provincial Council, Mr Aqeel Al Khalidi, Mr Hayder Al Saadi, Mr Jabbar Al Saadi, and Mr Munther, joined the Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), Baroness Emma Nicholson, in a dinner at the new Shams Hotel on the 14th January 2015.

The IBBC event was attended by a significant number of members as well as representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There were discussions on the security situation in Basra and the possibility of easing the current visa restrictions, among other subjects.

The IBBC wants to thank the Basra Governor, the Provincial Council and all our members and friends for making our first dinner of 2015 such a successful event.

(Source: IBBC)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Oil & GasComments Off

A Basra Lunch, with Locally Sourced Truffles?

A Basra Lunch, with Locally Sourced Truffles?

By John Lee.

As long term observers of events in Iraq, the team at Iraq Business News thought we might have seen just about every unexpected story from a nation that continues to surprise.

We’d heard of the popularity of the Japanese comic character Hello Kitty in Iraq or the trend among some young Iraqis for playing online war-games with levels actually set in Iraq, such as Battlefield 3.

But we were still perplexed to see a genuine story about Basra residents who were sourcing truffles from the desert, despite the risk of unexploded ordinance and land mines, mainly leftover from the Iran-Iraq war. This has been happening for some time near Rumaila.

Odd as it may seem to an outsider, “desert truffles” are in fact as much a delicacy in the Middle East as they would be on the table of a Michelin starred restaurant in Europe.

The recent report on this in The Nation notes these truffles are sold in the markets in Basra, and as more hotels are built in the province, they may already be on the plates of visiting diners.

(Source: The Nation)

 

Posted in Employment8 Comments

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