Tag Archive | "Basra"

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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 (0)

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 EmploymentComments (8)

Dragon Oil Make Second Basra Discovery

By John Lee.

Dublin registered Dragon Oil have announced a second oil discovery at the Block 9 exploration well, ‘Faihaa-1′.

This is good news for the consortium who have a 30% stake in the well along with the operator, Kuwait Energy who have a 70% stake in the block, located in the northern part of Basra province, southern Iraq.

The firm’s first discovery at Block 9 occurred in September last year, 2700 metres into the Mishrif formation. The second target was the Yamama formation, at 4000 metres. Dragon Oil signed their oil services contract for the site in January 2013.

(Source: Dragonoil.com)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (8)

Basra “Moving Towards Independence”

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

Since the establishment of modern Iraq in 1921, its provinces have had different positions toward decentralization as a result of the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

In addition, economic resources have varied widely from one region to another. At the end of 2014, Iraqis were once again discussing the possibilities of decentralization.

Perhaps the oldest demand for decentralization was raised even before the establishment of modern Iraq, when a prestigious group of men presented a petition signed by 4,500 people to the British High Commissioner in June 1921 demanding the administrative independence of Basra province.

The rationale behind the petition was based on the economic and social characteristics of Basra, such as its having a seaport and economic vibrancy. Iraqi politicians and British decision-makers never welcomed the petition, despite constant demands until 1928 that they consider it.

Other federalism or disassociation plans, such as for the Kurds and Assyrians, were also tamped down by the strengthening of the Iraqi state. The central government in Baghdad, however, failed to please certain segments of the society with its management of the country, so demands for disassociation continued until the Baathist regime was overthrown in 2003.

The idea of regional federal governments within a united Iraq was suggested during negotiations between the political blocs while drafting the current constitution, which defines Iraq’s republic as a federal state. According to Article 117, “This constitution, upon coming into force, shall recognize the region of Kurdistan, along with its existing authorities, as a federal region,” and according to Article 120, “Each region shall adopt a constitution of its own that defines the structure of powers of the region, its authorities, and the mechanisms for exercising such authorities, provided that it does not contradict this constitution.”

Posted in Oil & Gas, Politics, SecurityComments (8)

Basra joins Revenue Sharing Talks

By John Lee. 

According to a 2009 revision of Iraq’s Provincial Powers Act (also known as Law 21) the province of Basra is supposed to be receiving an extra $5 dollars of oil revenue per barrel produced in the province.

If this was the case, the province could be receiving an income equivalent to that of some small countries.

To date however, this has not been the case for both political and economic reasons and currently the province receives much less than its entitlement. This is of critical importance, because the province produces most of Iraq’s oil.

This situation might be about to change. The current governor, Majid al-Nasrawi, had his position strongly contested by former PM Maliki, who opposed decentralising power from Baghdad.

Now Maliki is on the sidelines and the Ministry of Oil is headed by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq member Abdel Adel Mehdi, of the same party of the Basra governor. Given that Maliki is now longer in the seat of power, we might expect more power to be devolved to provinces like Basra.

Abdel Mehdi hinted a new arrangement could be on the horizon, noting recently that the government were looking for “fairer ways to share revenue with the provinces” to include Basra and not just the Kurdish provinces.

Certainly, the political alignment of Basra and the Oil Ministry through ISCI, a party which pursued a strong federalist agenda in the 2009 election could see some interesting developments. If the current Baghdad-Arbil deal holds, we might expect a new deal for the southern provinces.

In the long term, such federalised arrangements could lead to greater security in Iraq as a whole, since the war torn provinces of Anbar and Ninewa also have oil and gas reserves, although not on the scale of the KRI and the south.

(Source: Various publications)




Posted in Oil & GasComments (11)

BP Plans to Double Rumaila Production

By John Lee.

The coming year will see BP expand drilling work and upgrades to equipment at the vast Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq, of which the company have a 50% stake.

BP operate the field with PetroChina, Iraq’s South Oil Company and SOMO.

This work is carried out under the umbrella of the Rumaila Operating Organization, which oversees activity at a field which is thought to have some 20 billion barrels available for extraction. Some observers have noted that BP have played a “long game” in Iraq and that their patience with contractual difficulties and initial security concerns is paying off.

The aim of the new plan is to increase production at the field to 2.1 million BPD by 2020, double the current production. This has surprised some observers who are unfamiliar with Iraq’s geography and do not realise that the ISIL terror group are operating hundreds of kilometres to the north.

The 25 year contract at the Rumaila field is expected to generate $1 trillion for the Iraqi economy.

(Source: Various publications)


Posted in Oil & GasComments (7)

Shell, FC Barcelona Extend Basra Partnership

Shell and the Foundation of Football Club Barcelona (FFCB) have signed an agreement extending the award winning extra-curricular school programme “FutbolNet”, for an additional two seasons in Basrah.

The “FutbolNet” programme is based on FFCB’s methodology of using football to develop life and leadership skills, respect, tolerance, teamwork, responsibility and effort amongst children and encouraging positive behaviour through the ages of 7 and 17.

The extension follows the great success of “FutbolNet” festivals in Iraq. Moreover, the programme has been well received by the participating communities in Iraq who feel it is of great benefit to the individual and collective development of youth in the country.

Endorsed by former national athlete Mr. Hani Waleed, former Secretary General of the Basrah Athletic Federation, the unique football project kicked off in 2013 through the ‘FutbolNet Festivals’ which were rolled out in communities across Basrah in southern-Iraq.

One of the participants Hussien Khalil, who is 12, said:

“The programme has made me more committed to my studies and school work. I now have more respect for timekeeping than before and my grades have also improved.

“My parents and teachers have certainly taken notice of my achievements whilst I have also enjoyed making new friends during the programme.”

The initiative also further builds on Shell’s capacity building programme and social investment activities in Iraq which include health care, road safety and entrepreneurship.

Posted in Leisure and Tourism, Oil & GasComments (4)

Freedom Square offers Refuge for Basra Residents

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

No one in the southern Iraqi province Basra believed that families would flock to Hurriyah (Freedom) Square to see and sit by the new monument after it was greatly ridiculed in newspapers and on social networking sites for its appearance — some described it as a large eggplant surrounded by horses.

People from out of town changed their opinions about the monument once they arrived in Basra and heard the residents’ stories about it.

The plan to build a “Freedom Monument” in Basra was announced together with plans for other statues in Iraq, which were also criticized.

Basra is the second-largest city in Iraq and the only Iraqi city with harbors overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The West Qurna oil field, which produces 360,000 barrels of oil per day, is located in the city. But Basra suffers from unemployment and lack of social services.

Life in Basra has become harder on the residents since militias have emerged in the city. Hurriyah Square, which has so far not been the scene of any fighting, has become a safe haven for young people who object to Sharia rule imposed by Islamic parties that are in control of various parts of the city.

On Sept. 11, the day of the square’s inauguration, Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi, said, “[This is] one of the successful projects in Basra … and [the square is] a breather for its residents.”

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works, SecurityComments (2)

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