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Oil Storage Contract Awarded to CPP


By Patrick M Schmidt.

The Ministry of Oil has approved a contract worth $607 million (708 billion Iraqi dinar) with China Petroleum Pipeline (CPP).

The company will now be able to begin construction on an oil storage facility to accommodate future development projects at the Nassiriya oilfield.

The field currently produces 40,000 barrels of oil per day, but is planned to reach an output of 300,000 barrels per day by project completion.

(Source: Reuters)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Oil & GasComments (0)

Chinese Hackers Target US Experts on Iraq


A sophisticated Chinese hacker group is now reported to be focusing its efforts on US policy towards Iraq.

The group, called “Deep Panda,” started targeting US policy experts and think tanks with links to Iraq on 18th June, the day that ISIS began to attack the oil refinery at Baiji.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and CTO of security company CrowdStrike, told ComputerWorld that the shift made clear that the Chinese government wanted to know what policy makers thought was happening in Iraq and what military moves the U.S. might make to stabilize the situation.

China is the largest foreign investor in Iraqi oil fields, and draws about 10% of its oil imports from the country. Most of China’s oil investments, however, are in southern Iraq.

CrowdStrike, which has tracked Deep Panda for three years, believes the group either works for or is actually funded by the Chinese government.

(Source: ComputerWorld)

(Computer image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Security, Telecoms/CommsComments (0)

Zebari Meets Chinese Ambassador


By John Lee.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has met the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Yong.

The Minister confirmed Iraq’s participation in the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in the Asia States to be held in Shanghai, China. Iraq participates in the conference with a delegation comprising Undersecretary for Policy Planning and senior officials in the Ministry. It is worth mentioning that Iraq is a member of this conference which includes 24 Asian countries.

The Minister explained the circumstances that prevented the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs from participating in the conference because it coincided with the announcement of the results of the parliamentary elections and that all of the political leaders are preoccupied with the political consultations.

The Minister stressed the government’s keenness to enhance the distinguished bilateral relations, confirming the participation of Iraq in the sixth session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Arab – Chinese Cooperation Forum, which will be held in Beijing early next June.

The meeting was attended by Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Multilateral Relations, Acting Head of the Protocol Department, and Deputy Head of Asia Department.

(Source: MoFA)

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Technip Wins FEED Contract at Rumaila


Technip, in partnership with China HuanQiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation (HQC), has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract for the Ar Ratawi Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) train1 project at North Rumaila in Basra.

The deal was awarded by the Basra Gas Company (BGC), a joint venture between the Iraq’s South Gas Company (51%), Shell (44%) and Mitsubishi (5%).

The project is the first of the new greenfield associated gas processing facilities that will significantly minimize gas flaring in Iraq and make more energy resources available for power and domestic use– an NGL train with nominal feed gas capacity of 530 million standard cubic feet per day. The standalone facilities will produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), NGL and condensate for domestic markets.

The scope of work covers the basic engineering design package of the NGL process units, utilities and the submission of an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) package.

Technip’s operating center in Abu Dhabi will execute the project, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

Vaseem Khan, President of Technip in the Middle East, declared:

This award reflects Technip’s strengthened position in the Middle-East market, following several previous awards. We are proud to bring our specific technological edge and licensed innovative solutions to the downstream industry, while leveraging our 30 years presence in the region.

(Source: Technip)

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Lucky Cement Starts Production in Iraq


By John Lee.

Pakistan’s Lucky Cement has started production in Iraq from February of this year, in a 50/50 joint venture with the Al-Shawy family.

The company’s CEO, Muhammad Ali Tabba (pictured), told Dawn that a total of $40 million has been invested in the grinding mill in Basra, which has a capacity of 3,000 tonnes per day, servicing the Southern Iraq market which has a very high demand for sulphate resistant cement (SRC).

He said the project was challenging, as getting human as well as material resources on site proved complicated due to various reasons including government regulations, market structure and support infrastructure weakness, etc.

“It’s the first phase of development and if we succeed in our projections, we may go for a full cement production line of 1.25m tonnes which may cost around $125m,” he said.

He described Basra as safer and politically more stable than the rest of Iraq in general, and Baghdad in particular.

The country is currently producing around 16 million tonnes of cement and consuming around 24m tonnes, with around 80 per cent of its cement imports coming from Iran.

France’s Lafarge is the market leader in Iraq with 50 percent market share, and there are three or four Chinese cement manufacturers, in addition to “from three to four” (sic) government-owned cement plants.

(Source: Dawn)

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First of 10 New Fast Trains Ready for Shipment


By John Lee.

China’s Dongfang Electric Corp. has completed the first of 10 high speed, desert modified diesel trains at a ceremony attended by Iraq’s ambassador to China, Railway Gazette reports.

The trains were ordered in 2012, a year after Iraq announced plans for a Basra to Baghdad high speed rail route, an initiative that does not seem to have materialized.

But the ten new trains, capable of 160 km/h, will bring the dream of a regular fast service between Basra and Baghdad closer to reality.

Each “train set” comes with two diesel engines and eight carriages with a capacity of almost 400 passengers and will be run by Iraqi Republic Railways.

Perhaps it is with sensible foresight that in addition to on board fault diagnostic systems, each train has been specially modified to cope with Iraq’s notoriously dusty conditions.

(Source: Railway Gazette)

 

Posted in TransportationComments (0)

Tadano Delivers Seven Cranes


Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources has taken delivery of seven 55-tonne GT-550E-2 truck cranes from the Japanese company Tadano, via its distributor, United Iraqi Trading Equipment (UITECO).

Manufactured by Tadano’s Beijing manufacturing joint venture BQ-Tadano, the four axle GT-550 features a five section 42 metre boom plus a 8.8 to 15.2 metres bi-fold swingaway that takes maximum tip height to 56 metres. Capacity on the fully extended main boom is eight tonne and it can handle 500kg at a radius of 38.1 metres.

The cranes have been purchased for various departments within Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources with three being sent to the General Commission for Operation of Irrigation & Drainage, two to the General Commission for Groundwater, one to the State Commission for Dams & Reservoirs and the final one to the Department of General Estuary.

(Sources: Vertikal, Tadano)

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Gazprom Neft Produces First Oil at Badra


By John Lee.

Gazprom Neft, operator of the Badra oilfield, has reported the successful completion of well-testing at its BD4 appraisal well at the end of December, 2013.

Potential production capacity was tested through the sequential testing of six drilled strata, followed by final testing of all pay horizons concurrently. A daily natural flow rate of 7,000 barrels of oil was recorded.

Testing continues at two other drilled wells within the same field. 2014 will also see work begin on the drilling of six production wells under the company’s contract with China’s ZPEC.

The infrastructure necessary to bring the field into commercial production in 2014 is also nearing completion. Work also continues on the construction of a 170,000 bpd central gathering facility: the first line of which, with a capacity of 60,000 bpd, will come on-stream in the near future. Preparations for the construction of a 1.5 million cubic meter annual capacity gas conversion plant are also underway and work to connect the field to Iraq’s main pipeline network is also nearing completion.

Vadim Yakovlev, First Deputy CEO of Gazprom Neft commented:

With well testing completed we are one step closer to beginning commercial production at the Badra field. Since beginning development — practically from scratch — just three years ago, a Gazprom Neft-led consortium has completed a major project in establishing all the facilities necessary for large-scale production at Badra, and this will begin as early as this year.

(Source: Gazprom Neft)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (9)

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