Search Results | 'basra'

Iraq: Waiting for Salvation Day

Iraq: Waiting for Salvation Day

By Laith Hammoudi.

This article was originally published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting,, and it is reproduced by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

Mohammed Abid is waiting for an email from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) that will tell him when he and his family can leave Iraq.

He has spent four years awaiting what he calls the “day of salvation”. Meanwhile, he and his family live in daily fear that one of them will be killed in the random bomb explosions that go off all across the capital Baghdad.

“Leaving Iraq will be like a new birthday for me and all my family,” Mohammed Abid said. “I am not prepared to lose a family member to an explosion, and I live with this fear permanently.”

Three of his workmates have already left for the United State. He is hoping he will be able to follow them soon, taking all his family except his parents, who will move to southern Iraq where they can live close to relatives.

Mohammed Abid is one of thousands of Iraqis who have applied to emigrate under IOM procedures. The prospect of a better life and a better future is one motive for leaving, but the main one is just staying alive.

Eleven years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s goverment, Iraqis like Mohammad Abid are still enduring an never-ending cycle of violence. Car bombs, suicide bombings and other forms of violence are now part of the fabric of daily life.

The bloodshed peaked in 2007-08. Many analysts cite the 2006 attack on the Shia shrine at Samarra as a start-date for this wave of violence. Thousands of people were killed and “disappeared” during this period, while tens of thousands counted themselves lucky just to have lost money and property rather than their lives.

Posted in SecurityComments Off

Iraq Offers Longer Credit to India

Iraq Offers Longer Credit to India

By John Lee.

The head of refineries at Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) has told Reuters that Iraq is willing to double the credit period on crude sales to 60 days if Indian refiners buy more in 2014.

B.K. Namdeo added:

Iraq is very positive. They are willing to raise credit period to 60 days and waive off opening of letters of credit (LCs) provided volumes are increased.

Iraq has stepped up sales to India after sanctions made trade with Iran difficult.

He said HPCL has not yet worked out crude import numbers for 2014. The company has a deal to buy 60,000 bpd of Basra oil from Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), and another to buy another 40,000 bpd from Total.

India’s biggest refiner, Indian Oil Corporation, could also raise imports from Iraq to 284,000 bpd in 2014 from 270,000 bpd now as it aims to commission its 300,000 bpd Paradip refinery on the east coast next year.

(Source: Reuters)

Posted in Oil & Gas7 Comments

A Week of Contrasts in Iraq

A Week of Contrasts in Iraq

Security incidents earlier this week at two sites in Southern Iraq have caused concern among oil companies and workers, and have prompted one company to issued force majeure notices to its customers.

As a result of the disruption in the area, the Iraq Future Energy conference, scheduled to take place in Basra later this month, has had to be postponed — we’ll have more information on that later today.

These unfortunate events contrast starkly with the rest of our news this week, which includes reports of a new $11-billion petrochemical plant, new pipeline deals with Turkey, ‘Big Oil’ spending $25 billion in Iraq next year, an oil find in Iraqi Kurdistan, and shares in a Iraq-focused oil company hitting a new high. We are also pleased to show an excellent new film from Shell on its de-mining operation at Majnoon.

Away from the energy sector, we have details of opportunities to develop post offices throughout Iraq.

As always, you get the full story at Iraq Business News.

Posted in Blog2 Comments

Baker Hughes Declares Force Majeure in Iraq

Baker Hughes Declares Force Majeure in Iraq

By John Lee.

Baker Hughes has announced that a protest incident by local residents occurred last Saturday at a subsidiary’s facility near Basra.

No injuries were suffered and the facility was secured. The incident is currently under investigation. Due to the significant disruption of business, Baker Hughes has suspended operations in Iraq, and has issued force majeure notices to its customers.

Martin Craighead, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baker Hughes, commented:

Baker Hughes supports the Iraqi oil industry … And the safety and welfare of our employees are our top priorities. While we investigate this incident, and until the work environment has stabilized, we are halting activities in Iraq.

“We hope to resolve this issue in a timely manner, and resume operations in support of our customers and the country of Iraq, as soon as it is safe to do so.

In a separate incident, a British employee of security firm G4S was reportedly injured by a group of workers at a Schlumberger camp near the Rumaila oilfield on Monday.

(Source: Baker Hughes)

Posted in Oil & Gas, Security2 Comments

British Oil Worker Attacked for ‘Shiite Insult’

British Oil Worker Attacked for ‘Shiite Insult’

By John Lee.

A British employee of security firm G4S has reportedly been injured by a group of workers at a Schlumberger camp near the Rumaila oilfield.

The Daily Star says the man had tried to remove a picture of Imam Ali, and flags and pamphlets commemorating Imam Hussein, venerated figures in Shiite Islam, allegedly cutting them down with a knife.

Reuters reports that the security adviser asked Iraqi workers to take down a flag and banners, and when the workers refused he removed them himself, tearing one portrait Imam Hussein.

In the ensuing row, the security adviser pulled out a gun and fired several shots, wounding an Iraqi worker and drawing dozens of people from a nearby village to join the workers in storming the camp.

The South Oil Company (SOC) said production at Rumaila was not affected, but Schlumberger is said to have suspended its operations in response to this and other incidents in the province.

Video footage of the incident can be seen here.

Baker Hughes has issued force majeure notices in relation to its operations in Basra following protests.

(Sources: Reuters, Daily Star)

(Picture: Rumaila de-gassing station)

Posted in Oil & Gas, Security1 Comment

Iraq Amends Its Electoral Law

Iraq Amends Its Electoral Law

By Reidar Visser.

The following article was published by Reidar Visser, an historian of Iraq educated at the University of Oxford and currently based at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. 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.

Iraq Amends Its Electoral Law and Is Ready for Parliamentary Elections in April 2014

Iraq has finally amended its electoral law, paving the way for general elections to go ahead no later than 1 May 2014.

The most significant change to the electoral law concerns the seat distribution method. Following a supreme court ruling that deemed the previous largest-remainder principle unconstitutional, a more proportional, so-called modified St. Lague method will be used to calculate seats. This gives smaller parties slightly better chances to win seats than under the previous system.

Other major systemic changes that were on the table were all dropped. There will be no change to the open-list system, nor will there be any revision to a single, nationwide electoral constituency, which the Kurds had pressed for.

Instead, there are minor adjustment to the seat distribution between governorates. The seven seats that were distributed to the winning blocs at the national level in 2010 have been allotted to governorates instead, and three extra seats have been added to the mix. The governorates that won one extra seat each are Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar, Babel, Karbala, Anbar, Diyala, Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyya. The eight minority seats remain the same.

It is noteworthy that in this way, the Kurds came best out of the new apportionment. Compare with 2010, where the Kurds eventually won one of the seven national/compensation seats, or 14%. This time they are guaranteed a third of the ten seats that are allotted on top of the 310 seats that are distributed based on population statistics. Kurdish assertiveness in this question in turn reflects their historical dissatisfaction with the ministry of trade statistics (based on ration cards) used to determine the number of deputies per Iraqi governorate.

Posted in Politics2 Comments

The Most Expensive Property in Iraq is …

The Most Expensive Property in Iraq is …

Ask anyone where the most expensive property is in Iraq and you might expect to hear Baghdad, the capital, or Basra, the hub of the southern oil industry.

But according to this report, the highest prices are being paid for development land in Karbala, site of the shrine of Imam al-Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

These prices are driven largely by a healthy tourist industry, as the city hosts large numbers of pilgrims who visit the shrines, but also be increasing commercial activity in the area.

This can be seen as perhaps another example of Iraq not conforming to expectations, and of people and businesses pressing ahead with development despite the obvious challenges of the security situation.

There is much more to Iraq than the headlines in the international press, and at Iraq Business News we aim to give you the full picture.

Posted in Blog, Construction & Engineering, Leisure and Tourism3 Comments

Experts Discuss SCOP Pipeline Projects

Experts Discuss SCOP Pipeline Projects

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With the fourth edition of the Iraq Future Energy Conference approaching, experts – Mr. Falah Al Khawaja, former Director General for oil projects at State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), and Mr. Ali Alwash, General Manager at State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP) – participating at the conference discuss the developments in the Basra fields, current and upcoming pipeline projects in the region, as well as the outcome of the 4th December OPEC output target meeting for Iraq.

Speaking on the importance of the developments in the Basra fields, Mr. Falah Al Khawaja, former Director General for oil projects at State Company for Oil Projects­ (SCOP), confirmed:

The development of the Basra oil fields is very important for federal Iraq’s energy industry. These fields will raise Iraq’s hydrocarbon supply to about 9 mmb/d of oil including present capacity, and lead to trebling gas output by 2020. This is a huge input to world and local supply. Local refining capacity will be doubled, and Iraq’s power generation needs will be met.

Referring to how critical is it to have an alternative to the Strait of Hormuz for exports, whilst also providing updates on Iraq’s export pipeline infrastructure project, Mr. Falah, said:

The Strait of Hormuz issue was exaggerated and may be discarded depending on the ongoing dialogue between the West and Iran. Iraq, however, needs the flexibility of the western route to Jordan and Syria, and the northern route to Turkey.

“Preparatory work for both routes is progressing towards Jordan and Turkey. The southern corridor was never an option; but with the restoration of The Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia (IPSA), the pipeline to Yanbu remains the aim and a valid option.

With regards to the current state of the northern route to Turkey he further added:

The 40 inch pipe line extending from Kirkuk to Cehan in Turkey is badly damaged in the section from Fatha to the border (nearly 400 km) and, accordingly, the whole pipeline has deteriorated considerably from its original capacity. The damaged length is to be replaced.

Posted in Oil & Gas3 Comments

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