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Austria’s OMV Strikes Oil in Iraqi Kurdistan

Austria’s OMV Strikes Oil in Iraqi Kurdistan

Just days after WesternZagros struck oil at Sarqala, Austria’s OMV announces that it too has struck oil at its Bina Bawi block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

OMV is currently drilling an exploration well (Bina Bawi 3) and encountered hydrocarbons in one of the primary reservoir targets. The well is still being drilled and further investigations are planned in the course of the well operations including evaluation of deeper potential targets. OMV will inform about the full potential as soon as more information is available.

Jaap Huijskes, OMV Executive Board member and responsible for Exploration and Production stated:

We are very pleased to announce this discovery of oil. It seems good quality oil and it was flowing to surface following a drawdown test. We are now going to continue drilling but I am confident that the final results will be promising.

OMV has direct stakes in five blocks in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, of which in three as operator. Operated blocks are Bina Bawi (36%), Shorish (100%) and Mala Omar (100%).

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

German Businesses Comment on Kurdistan Visit

German Businesses Comment on Kurdistan Visit

A business delegation from Bavaria spent a few days looking around Erbil and was very impressed with what they saw: from the security situation to the trade fair locations. Last but not least, they also enjoyed German draft beer in the Middle East, fresh from the tap.

Iraq and the state of Iraqi Kurdistan need German business and investment – this was made clear, time and time again, to the 12 members of the economic delegation from Bavaria. Representatives from the telecommunications, high tech and logistics industries as well as architectural and city planning sectors were in Erbil on the fact finding mission.

The mission had been organised by the German-Arab Friendship Association (DAFG) and the Bavarian Business Association in co-operation with the German Trade Office in Iraq (DWI).

For most of the participants it was their first trip to Iraqi Kurdistan. Their aims were to form their own individual impressions of the country, to make contacts or to prepare for cooperative ventures. The packed programme of activities and meetings helped them achieve all of this.

They were able to speak to high ranking politicians – including the Minister for Trade and Industry Sinan Abdulkhalq Ahmed Chalabi, the Minister for Planning Ali Osman Haji Sindi, the President of Chamber of Commerce Soran A. Aziz, the Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Falah Mustafa Bakir.

All of the politicians reiterated that almost every business sector had a pressing need for German investment, German service providers and German businesses. The transfer of knowledge and information was a prerequisite for sustainable economic relationships.

Additionally they also emphasised that Iraqi Kurdistan could well make a suitable base for any businesses wishing to work further afield, from the south of Iraq to Iran, Syria and even Turkey.

The security situation in the north was better than many other areas in the Middle East, they said, and pointed out that this was also the reason that many Iraqi businesses were transferring their headquarters to the north. Additionally the state had barely been affected by the financial crisis and had the potential for extremely good economic growth in the near future.

At an evening event organised by the German Trade Office in Iraq (DWI) and held at the European Technology and Training Centre (ETTC), the participants were then able to talk over their impressions of the place, as they wined and dined and were treated to German beer. They were also able to discuss German-Iraqi business relations with members of the German Bundestag, Wolfgang Tiefensee and Uta Zapf of the Social Democrats, who were also in attendance.

Voices from the delegation:

Tarik Essaida

Senior Sales Manager, Middle-East and North Africa, with Muehlbauer

Sector: Smart cards and electronic passports

As a company with 30 years of experience, we can certainly contribute to some of the larger projects being undertaken in Iraq and in the federal state of Iraqi Kurdistan. This mission has helped with that, in making suitable contacts and discussing potential co-operative ventures. In terms of what Kurdistan had to offer, I was happy to simply let myself be surprised – and I’ve been very impressed. I can say with certainty that I will return to Erbil again, in order to take these discussions to the next level.

Posted in Industry & Trade0 Comments

WesternZagros Strikes Oil in Kurdistan – Shares Rocket

WesternZagros Strikes Oil in Kurdistan – Shares Rocket

Shares in WesternZagros Resources are up 35% on Tuesday following the company’s announcement of an oil discovery in the Jeribe Formation at the Sarqala-1 exploration well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The cpmpany says the Jeribe Formation flowed light, 40 degrees API oil at a stabilized rate of 6,000 barrels per day over the 24 hours of the initial flow period. This rate was achieved through a 36/64 inch choke at a flowing well head pressure of 3,900 psi and without any stimulation. No water was produced during this flow.

Simon Hatfield, CEO of WesternZagros commented:

We’re very excited to confirm an oil discovery in the Jeribe Formation. With these encouraging initial results, we will continue the testing to evaluate the full flow capability at the well and its potential for early production.

 

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

UK Firms Invited To Explore Opportunities In Kurdistan

UK Firms Invited To Explore Opportunities In Kurdistan

The Middle East Association has this message for UK businesses looking for growth opportunities:

Dear Members and Friends,

The MEA, in partnership with UK Trade & Investment, Invest Northern Ireland and the Kurdistan Regional Government, will be leading a Trade Delegation to Iraqi Kurdistan from 23rd to 28th October to coincide with the seventh Erbil International Trade Fair, Iraq’s largest general trade exhibition. Mission Participants will have the opportunity to exhibit at the Fair’s British Pavilion, as well as to meet government ministers, senior business leaders, and the local Chambers of Commerce.

The stable security situation in Kurdistan has lent itself to business prosperity. Economically, the region is moving rapidly ahead of the rest of Iraq, although the UK is a late entrant to this market and currently trails behind its EU competitors.

  • There are excellent opportunities in Construction & Infrastructure, Engineering, Agriculture, Healthcare, Technology, Telecommunications, Power, Oil & Gas, Environment & Water, Financial & Legal Services, and Education & Training.
  • Over 50 British companies are already registered in Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • British-Kurdish relations are strong, and British business is welcomed and encouraged for the high quality of its skills, expertise, and products.

Last year’s UK delegation to the Erbil International Trade Fair was led by the MEA, in parallel with a delegation led by former UKTI CEO Sir Andrew Cahn, and comprised 53 delegates representing 35 companies. During the Mission, both the KRG President and Prime Minister visited the UKTI stand and spoke to exhibitors. There will be a UK VVIP delegation again this year. In light of last year’s success and Kurdistan’s increasing importance, we anticipate an even larger delegation for this year’s Fair, which will attract:

  • 850 Exhibitors and 75,000 visitors
  • Representation from 25 countries
  • Support from a large number of trade promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, associations, ministries and embassies.

Exhibition space at the Erbil International Fair is finite, so we advise you to register your interest early. The cost of a stand at the Fair will be $3400 (currently about £2100). More information about the fair can be found here:http://www.eif-expo.com/.

For further details about joining the Mission and/or taking a stand for your company at the International Trade Fair please contact the Mission Manager, Lyndsay Snowden (email: mea@ctgrouptravel.co.uk; full contact details on flyer attached).

For advice on the Iraqi Kurdistan market and its possibilities, please contact David Lloyd, Senior Consultant at the MEA and Mission Leader (david@the-mea.co.uk), or Vian Rahman at the KRG’s UK Representation (vian.rahman@krg.org).

Warm regards,  Chris

Chris Moses
Marketing Executive
The Middle East Association

Posted in Industry & Trade1 Comment

Kurdistan Will Expand Faster Than Dubai

Kurdistan Will Expand Faster Than Dubai

US companies are put off from investing in Kurdistan by security fears, even though the Iraqi region is relatively safe and stable.

Iranian businesses are more aware of the lower risks in this part of the country and are desperate to invest and take advantage of its heavy investment and rapid growth, despite tax and other restrictive conditions imposed by the Iranian regime on its domestic businesses.

Reza Cheraghifar, export manager for large Iranian fiber optics manufacturer SGCC, told Aknews: “In ten years Kurdistan will expand its economy more than Dubai. Everyone is looking to get involved in that, particularly Iranian companies who share so much cultural heritage with Kurds.

“The speed of the growth means that they want to buy so much, it’s a real opportunity.

“The reason Kurdistan is doing so well, compared with Iran, is that it has a good relationship with all of its neighbors. People in charge here know how to separate business and politics.”

Habib Talavat, managing director of Urmia Petrochemical, said of Kurdistan: “It’s a very attractive place. There is a very young population who are keen to work and the labor price is much lower than in some other places in the region,”

With its relaxed laws allowing easy investment from foreign companies, Kurdistan may have to watch out that foreign countries do not set up and take their profits away with them. Cheraghifar said of the region: “They need to get investment for their own companies or have joint projects.”

 

(Sources: Aknews)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Investment0 Comments

Loans up to $83,000 for Kurdistan’s Farmers

Loans up to $83,000 for Kurdistan’s Farmers

The KRG’s Ministry of Agriculture has said that any farmer can get an agricultural loan of up to 100 million Iraqi dinars [$83,000] from the Government.

The agriculture minister said that the Kurdistan Regional Government has allocated 100 billion Iraqi dinars from the budget for the current year, in order to enable farmers to borrow from the government, adding that recipients can include orchards and poultry farms.

The provincial government had been paying half the value of new farm machinery in the form of agricultural loans, but the provincial government decided this year to increase agricultural loans to 80% of the cost of buying the equipment and agricultural machinery.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Agriculture0 Comments

Kurdistan and Iraq can be Model for Middle East

Kurdistan and Iraq can be Model for Middle East

Members of the European Parliament this week in Erbil met the Kurdistan Region’s leadership. The head of the delegation Mr Struan Stevenson said to President Barzani that Iraq and Kurdistan could provide a model in the Middle East of how challenges can be solved through democracy.

When meeting President Barzani, Mr Stevenson said that his delegation was very pleased to see the rapid political and economical developments that the Kurdistan Region has achieved over the years. He said, “We feel that Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in particular can provide a role model for how the challenges and the unrest that’s facing the wider region can be addressed through democracy.”

The delegation of MEPs, who are in the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, briefed KRG officials on the European Union’s desire for greater cooperation and engagement with Kurdistan and Iraq. They discussed an EU-sponsored business conference on Iraq planned for the end of this year or early 2012. The delegation also discussed the possibility of establishing an EU Mission in Erbil, which the President welcomed.

Mr Stevenson, who is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and President of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, also commended President Barzani for welcoming and supporting Christian families fleeing violence in other parts of Iraq. President Barzani said that Christians are an important part of Iraqi society and it is the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) duty to provide refuge to those seeking sanctuary.

President Barzani discussed the latest political developments in Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq. He said that despite the recent demonstrations, both the KRG and the federal government enjoyed popular support, as witnessed in the 2010 elections. He also detailed the recently announced reform programme and emphasised his full support for the initiative.

During their meeting with Prime Minister Salih, the delegation was updated on the KRG’s continuous efforts to improve livelihoods and the Region’s continued progress. Prime Minister Salih said, “The Kurdistan Region has developed and grown considerably, and we will continue to put all of our energy into ensuring more prosperity here, and broadening our relations with neighbouring countries and the region”.

Prime Minister Salih briefed the delegation on outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad and the recent demonstrations in Suleimaniah. He said that demonstrations are a natural and legal right of the people, which is reflected in the Region’s laws and regulations. The KRG Minister of Higher Education Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, and the Head of the KRG’s Mission to the EU Salim Gravi were also at the meeting.

The EU delegation included MEPs Mario Mauro, Jelko Kacin and John Attard-Montalto. The meeting with President Barzani was also attended by the President’s Chief of Staff, Dr Faud Hussein, the Head of KRG Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir and Mr Gravi.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Politics0 Comments

CT Group Travel Launches 2011 Kurdistan Trade Mission

CT Group Travel Launches 2011 Kurdistan Trade Mission

CT Group Travel in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment and The Middle East Association launch a trade mission to Kurdistan.

Iraq is poised to be one of the world’s leading emerging markets, driven by oil revenues and economic development across the board. Part of the government’s five year development plan is to attract over $6 billion in foreign investment. The government also intends to privatise 250 state owned enterprises by 2020, including production in areas such as petrochemicals, steel and pharmaceuticals.

One area in particular which has seen significant economic growth over the past five years is the Kurdistan Region in Northern Iraq. It has attracted over $14 billion in investment for 259 projects, of which $4 billion is foreign investment. With the Kurdistan region producing some 700,000 barrels of oil a day, there is huge potential for associated and downstream industries such as petrochemicals and plastics.

In light of the market potential Iraq offers and the pro-active measures the government is taking to attract foreign investment, CT Group Travel in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment and The Middle East Association with the assistance of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have put together a new Kurdistan trade mission taking place on 23rd to 27th October 2011.

The trade mission has been purposely set to coincide with the 2011 Erbil International Fair, which is the largest general trade fair in Iraq covering various economic sectors. Supported by a large number of trade promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, associations, ministries and embassies, the fair will attract more than 850 exhibitors from over 25 countries from around the Middle East, Asia, the Americas and Europe. It is anticipated some 75,000 visitors will be attending the four day event.

Mark Kempster, UNIGLOBE CT Group Travel Managing Director commented:

We are delighted to be operating a trade mission to Kurdistan as it presents a great opportunity for UK companies to meet relevant and vetted Iraqi and Kurdish businesses. Attendees can have peace of mind the mission will be productive given our partner – The Middle East Association – has organised and led six very successful trade delegations to the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq during the last four years, so they have first-hand knowledge of the Kurdistan market. In addition, not only will delegates enjoy greater savings by booking through us due to our specially negotiated group travel rates, but we also have our own office based at the Rotana Hotel offering support and assistance when needed, and attendees can also know all transportation has been specially arranged including security.

Posted in Industry & Trade, Transportation0 Comments

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