Search Results | 'basra'

Video: Iraq on Terror Alert

Video: Iraq on Terror Alert

From Jewish News One. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

With the Iraqi provincial elections now just days away, members of the police force and army have cast their votes ahead of time, with lines developing outside polling stations across the country, including in Baghdad and Basra:

(Source: Jewish News One)

Posted in Security0 Comments

The Prize for the Best Promise of the Week

The Prize for the Best Promise of the Week

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

In 1987, management guru and writer Tom Peters wrote that the formula for success was to under-promise and over-deliver — in other words, to manage expectations.

We can only hope that this maxim was in the mind of Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, Abdulkarim Aftan [Karrem Aftan al-Jumali]., when he spoke this week about his plans for power generation in the country.

In a bold and confident speech in Basra, the Minister urged the owners of private generators to sell them to scrap yards, as there will be no more need for them.

Iraq will hit the final nail into the coffin of darkness which has descended on the country for so many years,” he said. “The issue of electricity will be solved once for all by the end of October.

That won’t be in time to power all the air-conditioners needed in the searing heat of the coming summer, but the promise will be remembered and will be put to the test in due course.

If the Minister can deliver on his promise, then we will not be forced to recall the words of another famous writer, Mark Twain, who a hundred years earlier wrote that you can always tell that a politician is lying if his lips are moving.

Posted in Blog, Public Works2 Comments

Promises of Reliable Electricity Offer Little Reassurance

Promises of Reliable Electricity Offer Little Reassurance

By Omar al-Shaher for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

As the hot weather sets in, promises to provide round-the-clock electricity are making headlines in Iraqi news programs and newspapers. This comes after the hardships Iraqis have undergone in recent years as a result of inadequacies in the electricity grid.

During the summer, when temperatures can reach 50 degrees celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), the electricity supply is on for less than two hours per day.

Iraq is facing a pronounced shortage in electricity due to outdated and worn-out infrastructure. The electricity sector has been depleted by wars, the economic blockade of the 1990s and heinous violence in the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s fall, in addition to corruption that has infected the majority of governmental institutions.

During a visit to southern Basra, Minister of Electricity Karim al-Jumaili said that the electricity crisis would come to an end in October of this year. He promised that “citizens will be provided with electricity 24 hours per day.”

Jumaili pledged that the upcoming summer would be much better than the last, as new power-generating units come online.

He said, “In 2013, Iraq will generate 15,000 megawatts of power and will become energy self-sufficient. In 2015, the production will be 20,000 megawatts and will allow Iraq to export power to other countries.”

Several days ago, Jumaili affirmed that the ministry has been working on power transmission and distribution by setting up transmission stations in all provinces.

At the beginning of the month, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to guarantee the supply of electricity “round the clock” this year.

Posted in Public Works0 Comments

Iraq, Jordan Sign Oil $18bn Pipeline Deal

Iraq, Jordan Sign Oil $18bn Pipeline Deal

By John Lee.

Nihad Mossa, director general of the Ministry of Oil’s State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), told The Jordan Times on Monday that Jordan and Iraq have signed an $18-billion agreement to build a double pipeline that will supply Jordan with crude oil and natural gas.

He added that the Iraqi government is keen to proceed with the plan and will begin immediately. The 1,680-kilometre double pipeline will pump one-million barrels of oil a day from Basra on the Arabian Gulf to Jordan’s Aqaba Port, and around 258 million cubic feet of gas.

From this, 150,000 barrels of oil will be used in Jordan, with the rest exported through Aqaba, generating an estimated $3 billion a year in revenues for Jordan, reports Al Bawaba. Approximately 100 million cubic feet of natural gas will fulfil Jordan’s gas requirements, with “the excess gas [being] used in pumping stations along the double pipeline”.

Thamer Ghadban, chief adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki and former oil minister, said that Jordan is the “nearest” country to Iraq, which is looking forward to enhance its relationship with neighbouring countries.

Ghadban added that Iraq has now a new vision to separate the political situation in the region from its economic plans, under which Baghdad is seeking to promote its oil, especially as Iraq is considered OPEC’s second exporting member.

The Iraqi government will finance the building of the section from Basra to Haditha on a EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract, while the Haditha-to-Aqaba section will be built on a “build, operate, transfer” basis.

“This week we will invite selected companies to bid for the pipeline from Basra to Haditha and by the year-end we expect the designs to be ready for this part in order to proceed with the process,” Mossa said.

In the first quarter of 2014, a tender will be floated to build the pipeline from Haditha to Aqaba, Mossa said.

The project, which includes extending a sub-line to Jordan’s sole refinery in Zarqa, will be operational by the end of 2017, and will create about 10,000 jobs in Iraq and Jordan.

(Source: Al Bawaba)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Employment, Oil & Gas4 Comments

Iraq to Auction Giant Nassiriya Oil Field

Iraq to Auction Giant Nassiriya Oil Field

By John Lee.

Rigzone reports that the Iraqi oil ministry is planning to auction the giant ‘Nasiriya Integrated Project’ — which involves the development of a $4.4-billion oil field and the building of a 300,000 bpd refinery in southern Iraq — on 19th December.

At a workshop in Amman, Jordan, for international companies interested in the billion-dollar project, Abdul Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of the Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) said a total of 52 international oil companies would be able to take part in the bidding round; those are the 45 firms already qualified from previous bidding rounds, plus the seven companies shortlisted last month.

Ameedi added that the ministry is also processing documents from a further five companies: Daelim; Essar; GS E&C; Pak-Arab Refining; and Maurel et Prom.

Mr. Ameedi briefed the companies on a preliminary draft contract prepared by the PCLD. According to the draft, terms will be different from the technical service contract awarded to companies during previous bidding rounds for oil and gas fields. The changes include amendments to investor costs and a pay-per-barrel remuneration fee.

Unlike the previous contract, the new one will offer investors a share in project revenues, but only when production begins. The ministry will pay recovery costs from the date of commencement of work, which differs from the previous contract where the costs were only paid when the contractor raised production by 10%.

According to Rigzone, investors would have to pay some 35% taxes on the profit they made from Nassiriya project, the same amount as in previous deals.

Oil firms have complained that the terms of ministry’s previous contracts were tough and fell short of their expectations. They prefer production sharing contracts rather than the technical service deals that Baghdad previously signed with many of them.

Mr. Ameedi said Total was allowed to invest in the Nassiriya refinery but it wouldn’t be allowed to work in the field unless it cancels its projects in Kurdistan. If Total and its partners win the Nassiriya project, it will be allowed to operate the refinery but not the field, he added.

Iraq’s three aging refineries, Baiji [Beiji, Bayji], Doura [Daura] and Basra, are producing 560,000 bpd, or 70 percent of capacity, which is enough to meet 60- to 70 percent of Iraq’s total needs.

(Source: Rigzone)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Oil & Gas2 Comments

More Progress Required on Landmines

More Progress Required on Landmines

Iraq continues to be one of the most contaminated countries in the world with landmines and unexploded ordinance. Today, on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the United Nations calls for more progress to eliminate the threat of landmines to Iraqis.

“Landmines and unexploded ordinance continue to terribly affect Iraqis, restricting their access to essential services and, in the worst case, maiming and killing them”, said Mr. Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq. “Efforts must be scaled-up to heal the wounds of past wars and remove this menace, once and for all, from the lives of Iraqis.”

It is estimated that more than 1,730 square kilometers of land in Iraq is contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordinance, affecting 1.6 million Iraqis in around 4,000 communities across the country.

Of these, nearly one million children are affected by the presence of landmines with hundreds having been maimed or killed by exploded cluster bomblets since 1991. The most recent Iraqi child victimized is a twelve year old boy who lost one eye and both his hands from a munition that exploded when he was herding sheep near Basra in March, 2013.

“It is tragic and unacceptable that children continue to have their lives forever damaged by the presence of landmines,” stated Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. “With determined effort, all landmines and unexploded ordinance in Iraq can be eradicated; we call on all actors – the Government of Iraq, international community and private sector – to coordinate to permanently eliminate this threat from the lives of Iraqi children and their families.”

Due to a shortage of funding, the UN’s Mine Action Program will come to an end by mid-2013. As a result, the UN appeals the Government of Iraq to urgently fund humanitarian mine action activities, such as demining and mine risk education, to improve the living conditions of Iraqis affected by landmines.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has been leading the UN’s Mine Action Program in Iraq, with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supporting mine risk education activities and the World Health Organization (WHO) providing emergency health assistance to victims of exploded ordinance.

(Source: UNAMI)

(Picture: US Army de-fuses land-mine outside Fallujah)

Posted in Security0 Comments

IBBC Opens New Office in Erbil

IBBC Opens New Office in Erbil

The Iraq Britain Business Council has boosted its operations in Iraq by opening a new office in Erbil.

The IBBC’s new office is inside UB Holding at UB Plaza in Erbil’s Gulan Street. In the coming weeks an office manager will be hired.

VIP guests included KRG Trade and Industry Minister Sinan Çelebi, British Consul Hugh Evans and Erbil Chamber of Commerce President Dara Jalil Al Khayat.

The new Iraqi bureau come less than year since the first opened in Basrah last July.

Baroness Nicholson said:

Opening a new office in Erbil is a very important step in the IBBC’s history, especially after the success of our Basrah bureau which hugely increased our presence in the south. Basrah gave us a firm base on which to build and I am sure Erbil will do the same.

Speaking at the Erbil opening ceremony Baroness Nicholson praised the KRG region’s rapid growth, fuelled by a booming oil sector.

She said:

Each time I come here I am amazed at the pace of change after years of war, isolation and suffering by the Kurdish people. The KRG region is fast growing emerging market with relative political stability.

The IBBC’s first office in Iraq was opened in Basrah last July and has been used regularly for receptions, delegations and press conferences

Earlier this year UK Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint paid a visit and it was also used for the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Basrah Governor. The office is run by IBBC employee Ahmad Hoobi.

(Source: IBBC)

Posted in 'Your Country' - United Kingdom, Industry & Trade0 Comments

Weekly Security Update  26 March – 01 April

Weekly Security Update 26 March – 01 April

Assaye Risk Logo (Small) copy

By Tom Walker, Director, Assaye Risk


After the hiatus of last week Iraq has once again seen increased levels of violence, especially in Baghdad province and along the Tigris River valley, with the ISF and provincial politicians from both sides of the sectarian divide bearing the brunt of the violence.  In line with previous weeks reporting it is becoming increasingly clear that the Sunni insurgency  - especially ISI – are now more than capable of mounting sustained operations over and above that of previous years by deploying multiple high impact devices in concert nationwide.  With the looming provincial elections and continued political churn it should be expected that this attack tempo will continue as insurgents continually migrate across the national stage reinforcing and resupplying where necessary in order to maintain as much pressure as possible.   By close of play 02 April the approx. number of countrywide fatalities was at 105 with estimates of wounded at 370; bringing the total ISF and civilian fatalities this year to approx. 1018.

Similar security themes dominated national and international reporting with the PKK ceasefire, Syria and the provincial elections at the forefront of political dialogue this week. Ankara’s efforts to close with the PKK engineered ceasefire and troop withdrawal were dealt a blow this week as the PKK sought legal assurances from parliament that they would not be attacked by the military during their withdrawal from Turkish territory to their operating bases in the Qandil Mountains.  This step was seen as vital to taking the process forward, especially given the previous instances where PKK forces have been attacked during ceasefire withdrawals, most notably in 1999 after the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan.  Prime Minister Erdogan has sought to assuage PKK fears but has however stopped short of offering legal protection on the grounds that it is against current legislation.  Instead he continues to seek a situation whereby the PKK disarm prior to any move in order to mitigate against unnecessary skirmishing with the Turkish military, however this has yet to accepted by the PKK who fear the vulnerability and obvious consequences of being unarmed against an old foe.

26 mar-01 Apr_Incidents by Region

The provincial elections and associated violence reached new levels this week as candidates and officials continue to be subjected to an intensified campaign of violence and intimidation.  Numerous attacks were reported across the northern and central belts as the debate surrounding the demonstration movement and election impasse in Al-Anbar and Nineveh intensifies.  The protest movement this week announced they had formed an official delegation to negotiate terms with the GoI in a move widely seen as the movement distancing themselves from political blocs that had been negotiating on their behalf, but who had not managed to gain any purchase with Prime Minister Maliki.  How this dynamic unfolds remains to be seen however Baghdad will remain ever aware that the less influence they have in the western provinces the safer and more suitable the operating environment will become in favour of Sunni insurgent groups operating between the Syrian conflict and operations in Iraq.

In a departure from the norm of attacking Iraq’s energy infrastructure 01 April saw gunmen attack a Korean contracting company in the Akkas gas field, killing at least three local workers and kidnapping two more.  Whilst this event does not represent a clear intent to now continuously attack western interests  it does point towards a strengthening insurgent presence in the western desert regions.  The ISF confirmed this in a statement to Reuters stating that they see a renewed vigour in ISI units who have regained ground in the remote hills, caves and villages that straddle the Syrian border.

Posted in Security, Weekly Security Update0 Comments

IBN Newsletter 'FREE Weekly Subscription'