Search Results | 'iraq'

Petrofac Wins New Iraq Business

Petrofac Wins New Iraq Business

By John Lee.

Petrofac has secured a second contract extension from South Oil Company (SOC) for support on its Iraq Crude Oil Expansion Project.

The 12-month extension, worth around US$106 million, comes into effect in December and brings the total value of the contract to more than US$300 million since it was first awarded in 2012.

Petrofac is responsible for operations and maintenance services on a range of offshore facilities including an offshore platform, Central Metering and Maintenance Platform (CMMP), four single point moorings (SPMs), subsea pipelines and tanker operations, all based 60km offshore the Al Fao Peninsula in southern Iraq.

Mani Rajapathy, Senior Vice President MENA/CIS, Petrofac Offshore Projects & Operations, said:

“This extension builds on Petrofac’s recent successes in Iraq and our commitment to our valued customer SOC. Over the past 24 months we’ve loaded 280 tankers and exported 570 million barrels. We have helped to drive consistent improvement in monthly exports, with export for the last six months averaging in excess of 31 million barrels.

“We have also delivered this with an impeccable safety record, having achieved 2.5 million man hours without a Lost Time Injury.”

Dyeyaa Jaafar Hyjam, Director General, South Oil Company said:

“During the last two years, apart from delivering operations and maintenance and export targets, Petrofac has brought in its wider capabilities in engineering, supply chain and project management for the benefit of SOC. This contract extension reflects Petrofac’s significant contribution to SOC’s improved export from Al Fao, in a safe and efficient manner.”

(Source: Petrofac)

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

Will Iraq’s Shiites Secede?

Will Iraq’s Shiites Secede?

The following article was published by Reidar Visser, an historian of Iraq educated at the University of Oxford. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After the Rise of ISIS, Will Iraq’s Shiites Secede?

As Iraqi Shiites celebrate the holy month of Muharram and its key holiday of Ashura (3 November), it can be argued that radical sectarian mobilization among them has risen to a level unprecedented in modern Iraqi history since 1927, when a series of episodes prompted calls among the Shiites of Iraq to form their own separate state.

This year, too, visions focusing on the possible separation of the Shiite-majority provinces of Iraq as a separate political entity are back on the agenda.

The last time such ideas were being considered in an even remote way was in 2005, when Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim of SCIRI launched his scheme for a single Shiite federal entity stretching from Basra to Najaf.

It was the first time since 1927 that anything in the way of territorial separation of Iraqi Shiites had received any serious attention whatsoever. However, back then the project was characterized by only fragmented levels of support, with most Iraqi Shiites still speaking in the name of a unitary state. An even more radical movement to separate the south entirely had even less of a support base.

However, following the rise to prominence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014, Iraqi Shiite discourse on the Iraqi state appears to have changed quite dramatically – in the direction of separatist solutions. It is true that some of the talk of a separate Shiite entity, often referred to as the “Sumer” project in a reference to one of the ancient civilizations of Iraq, may have gained extra prominence because of the proliferation of social media, meaning that a wider array of Iraqi Shiite voices are accessible to outside analysts than at any point in history.

However, it is noteworthy that also more established political parties among the Iraqi Shiites appear to be warming up to ideas that were considered a taboo just a few years ago. A case in point is the State of Law alliance of former PM Nuri al-Maliki and current PM Haydar al-Abadi. In a first, during Ramadan, a key website supportive of Maliki accorded much prominence to an article that openly hinted at the possible secession of the Shiite areas from the rest of Iraq.

Posted in Politics0 Comments

Shares in GKP Jump Again on Iraq Update

Shares in GKP Jump Again on Iraq Update

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) gained another 19 percent on Thursday morning, following approval of its Field Development Plan (FDP) for Akri-Bijeel, in which it holds a 20 percent working interest.

The FDP is based on these two discovery areas, i.e. Bijell area and the Bakrman area. The development will be done in two phases, phase one objective is to allow the Operator to better determine key factors such as the reserves base, recovery factor, optimum surface facility design and overall field development cost.

Phase I will start immediately with 4 drilling rigs and 1 work over rig to help reduce the overall timeline with front-end-loading wherever possible for Phase II.

John Gerstenlauer  (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Keystone, commented:

“The approval of the Field Development Plan for the Akri-Bijeel Block is a culmination of years of exploration and appraisal, which will now lead to a development phase and production in due course. It is an important milestone for all stakeholders in the Akri-Bijeel project.”

This comes a day after a 14 percent rise in the share price after the company announced a postponement of its interim management statement.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

Belarus to Boost Cooperation with Iraq

Belarus to Boost Cooperation with Iraq

By John Lee.

A senior official from Belarus has said his country wants to dramatically expand cooperation with Iraq.

Vladimir Andreichenko (pictured), Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, met with the Iraqi Ambassador, Haidar Hadi on Wednesday; following the meeting he said:

Belarus greatly values the friendly relations between our countries. We are ready for the most dramatic steps to intensify cooperation …

“However we believe that we have no obstacles for ramping up cooperation

“We believe that during this visit we could sign a cooperation agreement between the parliaments of the two countries. This agreement might give an impetus to cooperation in other fields.”

Trade between the two countries has been described as “insignificant“.

(Source: BelTA)

Posted in Industry & Trade0 Comments

Iraqi Economy to Shrink in 2014

Iraqi Economy to Shrink in 2014

By John Lee.

A new report from the International Monetary Fund says that Iraq’s economy is expected to shrink by 2.7 percent this year as a result of the security crisis in the country.

This follows a 4.2 percent growth in GDP in 2013 and 10.3 percent the previous year, and would be the first contraction since the change of regime in 2003. A growth rate of 1.5 percent is predicted for 2015.

Inflation is estimated at 4.7 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2015.

The report forecasts a slight decline in oil producton to 2.9 million bpd this year, while exports of 2.4 million bpd should remain close to last year’s level.

The IMF forecasts a slight increase in oil production to 3.0 millon bpd, but has reduced its longer-term output projection from 5.6 million bpd to 4.4 million bpd in 2019.

Non-oil GDP is expected to fall by 4.3 percent this year, then grow by 3.5 percent next year.

(Sources: IMF, Reuters)

(GDP image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Oil & Gas0 Comments

BurgerFuel Suspends Iraq Operations

BurgerFuel Suspends Iraq Operations

By John Lee.

New Zealand-owned fast food outlet BurgerFuel has reportedly suspended its operations in Iraq.

The company had only one store, in the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah, and before the insurgency it had given its partners approval to re-locate to Baghdad, with a re-opening planned for later this year.

According to TVNZ, CEO Josef Roberts told shareholders:

The Middle East in general has experienced major ongoing turmoil and brutal separatist activity in the past 12 months … Whilst we are in general away from the primary areas, we cannot escape what is happening in Iraq.

“However, given what is happening in Iraq – we have suspended all further activity in that country and will review at a later date.

(Source: TVNZ)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Leisure and Tourism, Security0 Comments

Survey Results – State of Iraq 2014

Survey Results – State of Iraq 2014

Throughout August 2014, Iraq Business News polled readers for their opinions on the state of Iraq.

As expected, the results indicate a more challenging environment in the country over the preceding year.

But while the sample size and methodology do not allow us to claim statistical significance, the results tend to show a long-term commitment to Iraq as a place to do business – less than half of respondents expect to reduce their exposure to Iraq in the coming year, with 36 percent expecting to invest more.

It is important to note that this poll was taken before the successful appointment of the new cabinet, and before the escalation of airstrikes against the Islamic State, and so may be more a reflection of past concerns than of current hopes for the future.

As “a picture is worth a thousand words”, we’ve put our results in a helpful infographic format that we hope you will find useful

IBN Infographic

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Blog, Industry & Trade, Oil & Gas, Security1 Comment

N. Ireland Man Fined for Iraq Scam

N. Ireland Man Fined for Iraq Scam

By John Lee.

A Northern-Irish businessman, who was jailed for stealing more than £500,000 in fraudulent VAT repayments, has been ordered to repay £113,472 or serve a further three years in prison.

The man had claimed to be building water purification plants in Basra and Mosul, but didn’t have the funds to pay for the goods and services required to build the plants.

According to a report from Londonderry Sentinel, he told suppliers he needed invoices in advance to get letters of credit from the Iraqi Government to fund this multi-million dollar contract, and used the invoices as part of a false VAT refund claim totalling £567,420.17.

(Source: Londonderry Sentinel)

(Fraud image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Security0 Comments

IBN Newsletter 'FREE Weekly Subscription'