Tag Archive | "Kurdistan"

The latest news from Kurdistan – security updates, reconstruction and more – brought to you by Iraq Business News

Kurdish Oil Exports top $1bn

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has exported more than 14 million barrels of oil from its independent oil pipelines to Turkey in the last nine months, according to a report from BasNews.

A spokesman for the KRG’s Natural Resources Committee told the news agency that the exports have brought in over 1 billion dollars [1.2 trillion Iraqi dinars] in revenue for the Kurdistan Region, adding:

“The KRG hasn’t sold the oil of any fields in Kirkuk province, and they won’t because it is a violation of the Iraqi constitution.”

Current exports are running at a rate of over 250,000 barrels of oil per day.

(Source: BasNews)

(Oil image via Shutterstock)

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Petroceltic Switches Focus to Dinarta

By John Lee.

In its interim results on Wednesday, Petroceltic gave an update on its operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The company, along with Hess (as operator) has been active in the Kurdistan Region since 2011 when the Shakrok and Dinarta blocks were awarded with Petroceltic holding a 16% interest in each. Activity for the first half of 2014 consisted of the drilling of two exploration wells.

Shakrok-1, drilled on the Shakrok block, was spudded on the 30th August 2013 and reached its total depth of 3,538 meters on 30 March 2014. The Shireen-1 well on the Dinarta block was spudded on 11 June 2014 and was temporarily suspended, on the 9th August, as a precautionary measure, due to recent developments in the region.

Drilling operations are scheduled to resume in early October if circumstances allow and it is anticipated that completion of drilling on the well will take a further 90 days.

The Shakrok-1 well was plugged and abandoned as a non-commercial Triassic gas discovery. A 25m gas column was encountered in the Triassic reservoir interval but was not tested due to its lack of commercial potential.

After an extensive petrophysical evaluation, drill stem tests were carried out over four zones in the Jurassic; although these tests confirmed the presence of potential high productivity reservoirs, these tests did not flow hydrocarbons to surface.

Unfortunately, this well result also downgraded the remaining prospect on the block. Consequently, the decision was made not to enter the second sub-period on the Shakrok licence and Petroceltic’s entire cost of exploration in this block of $50.7m was written-off during the period.

The Shireen-1 well in the Dinarta block is targeting a series of stacked potential reservoir units in the Jurassic and Triassic dolomite formations. The partnership has also commenced civil works and site preparation in respect of the Pires prospect, where a further exploration well is scheduled to commence during the fourth quarter. The Pires well will target a number of stacked potential reservoir units within the Triassic.

Brian O’Cathain (pictured), Chief Executive of Petroceltic, commented:

Petroceltic’s production and development business has delivered a solid performance to date in 2014. The completion of our second Algerian farm-out, the recent Gas Sales Agreement and FEED contract award are important milestones towards unlocking our world class asset at Ain Tsila.

“While our exploration wells during this period did not generate commercial discoveries we have high hopes for our continuing exploration drilling programme in Kurdistan.

“We successfully raised $100m via a share placing with new and existing shareholders, providing financial flexibility. We are progressing plans to step up to the official list of the London and Irish stock exchanges by the end of the year.”

(Source: Petroceltic)

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World Economic Forum visits KRG

Mr Miroslav Dosek, Head of Middle East and North Africa section of the World Economic Forum (WEF), visited the KRG Department of Foreign Relations to discuss economic developments in Kurdistan as well as the current security and humanitarian situation.

Mr Dosek said, “The achievements and the success of the Kurdistan Region are very much lauded in the international business and political community.”

Mr Dosek added, “The role of KRG in the last few months in terms of sheltering hundreds of thousands of members of religious minorities and protecting civilians against the atrocities of the terrorists is very admirable.”

Minister Falah Mustafa expressed his government’s commitment to achieve further economic and political development despite the humanitarian, security and financial challenges at hand.

Emphasising the necessity of continued military support for Kurdistan, Minister Mustafa stated, “With the help of our friends in the international community, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have proven that Islamic State terrorists are not an invincible force; they are being defeated by the Peshmerga forces on the battlefields on a daily basis.”

Mr Dosek informed Minister Mustafa of the World Economic Forum’s session on unlocking resources for regional development, which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 28-29 September 2014. He said, “We would be pleased to have a KRG representative attending the WEF meeting in Istanbul in order to discuss the humanitarian needs of the Kurdistan Region.”

Mr Dosek also expressed the importance of further increasing the WEF’s ties with the KRG, encouraging regular participation of the KRG leadership in the future activities and events.

(Source: KRG)

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German Advisors Arrive in Kurdistan

By Patrick M Schmidt.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has welcomed forty German military advisors who will begin training Peshmerga security forces on weapons newly received from Germany. The advisors have previous experience training foreign militaries.

The German military assistance package is valued at $92 million and is aimed to assist in their fight against the Islamic State (IS).

The military assistance is accompanied by $65 million humanitarian aid package to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to help alleviate the refugee crisis in the region.

(Source: BasNews)

(Picture: KRG Peshmerga)

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Unemployment Increases in Kurdistan Region

By John Lee.

BasNews reports that the unemployment rate in Kurdistan has risen from 7 percent at the end of 2013 to 10 percent currently. The number unemployed is nearly 100,ooo, of which 52 percent are men.

The increase has been blamed on the general economic situation in Iraqi Kurdistan, and on the sanctions that Baghdad has put on the region.

The Statistics Director in Sulaimaniyah, Mahmud Osman, believes that the increase in unemployment is mainly due to the lack of job opportunities for university graduates, and the lack of availability of loans to youths.

According to the data of the Ministry of Planning, in the first six months in 2013, the unemployment rate stood at 5.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Iraqi social affairs Minister Naser Ruba’i revealed that 46 percent of Iraqi citizens are jobless.

According to data obtained by BasNews, there are approximately 3000 contractor projects, 70 percent of which have come to a halt due the recent violence in northern Iraq.

“In respect of the current economic crisis and IS attacks, markets and projects have stopped. The government must have a serious plan in order to survive the current situation that Kurdistan is going through”, said Yassin Mahmud, spokesperson for Kurdistan Investment Union.

According to Investment Unions official, 14 billion dollars [16.3 trillion Iraqi dinars] was invested in the region in 2013, but this has fallen to only 3 billion dollars [3.5 trillion Iraqi dinars] in the first 8 months of this year.

(Source: BasNews)

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UK Gives Arms to KRG

By John Lee.

At the request of the government of Iraq to provide urgent military support, the UK will supply heavy machine guns and nearly half-a-million rounds of ammunition.

China’s Xinhua news agency values the assistance at $2.6 million (3 billion Iraqi dinars).

According to the statement from the British Ministry for Defence, this will give the Kurdish Peshmerga forces additional firepower in order to help them defend the front line, protect civilians and push back ISIL advances.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (pictured) said:

ISIL militants are guilty of shocking brutality. So I am pleased that we will supply weapons to the Kurdish forces who are at the front line of combating their violent extremism.

“We have already provided body armour and other protective equipment as well as ammunition from our partners; these weapons will help the Kurdish forces in taking the fight to these barbaric terrorists.

“The UK is committed to assisting the government of Iraq by alleviating the humanitarian suffering of those Iraqis targeted by ISIL terrorists; promoting an inclusive, sovereign and democratic Iraq that can push back on ISIL advances and restore stability and security across the country.

“The RAF continues to transport military equipment and ammunition on behalf of other countries as well as providing UK non-lethal military equipment including body armour, helmets and ration packs. Today a flight flew into Erbil in northern Iraq carrying the latest support package.”

(Sources: UK Ministry for Defene, Xinhua)

(Picture Credit: UK Ministry for Defence)

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Video: Kurdish Ties to Iraq Continue to Thin Out

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

Kurdish officials have said that they will support the Iraqi central government and Prime Minister Haider al-Abaddi’s cabinet for a three month trial period.

But the union remains on shaky ground, with the regional government demanding more autonomy from Baghdad.

Younger generations of the Kurdish region are also increasingly talking about independence, once a taboo subject.

Al Jazeera‘s John Hendren reports from Erbil in the Kurdish region.

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Iraq Sues Shipping Firm for “Illegal” Kurdish Exports

By John Lee.

Iraq has taken legal action against Greece’s Marine Management Services (MMS) over its role in the export of crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan, which Baghdad regards as illegal.

The tanker concerned, the Marshall Islands-flagged United Kalavrvta (pictured), is still said to be fully laden off the coast of Texas, carrying $100m worth of crude.

According to Baghdad’s oil ministry, there are five vessels operated by MMS which have transported crude oil on behalf of the KRG.

The Oil Ministry says that MMS is liable for damages of at least $318m, and possibly significantly more, as a result of its willing and active participation in the KRG’s crude oil exports.

(Source: Reuters)

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