Tag Archive | "Kurdistan"

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

Sterling Global uses Micro MineWolf in Kurdistan


Sterling Global Operations puts first Micro MineWolf tracked armored vehicle into use in Kurdistan

Sterling Global Operations (SGO) is operating the first Micro MineWolf (MW50) anti-mine armored tracked vehicle – designed for use in mountainous and other hard-to-access locations – in Kurdistan as part of SGO’s work supporting oil and natural gas exploration, demining projects, and other services.

Sterling Global Operations Micro MineWolfThe first Micro MineWolf was sent to Kurdistan to support SGO’s growing operations in the region. In March, SGO expanded its Kurdistan operations center and opened a new 200,000 square-foot logistics hub from which the Micro MineWolf operates.

MineWolf Systems AG, in Stockach, Germany, designed and built the Micro MineWolf.

SGO has conducted, or is conducting, demining and unexploded ordnance detection and removal in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

This is a remarkably effective new tool in overcoming various types of explosives that up to now were dealt with by human beings, and it’s a great support to our growing Kurdistan operations,” said Alan Weakley, SGO president and chief operating officer.

The Micro MineWolf version is smaller and more versatile than other MineWolf models,” Weakley added, “which means it can be used in more rugged and hilly terrain, something quite common where we work. We’re bringing the latest technology into the field, and that translates into greater productivity as we ensure safety for our customers.

SGO’s demining and unexploded ordnance (UXO) work includes military force protection; safeguarding civilian populations; ensuring land is safe for agricultural and residential development; and clearing areas identified for oil and natural gas exploration and extractives industry mining operations.

Weakley said the Micro MineWolf got its first use on company projects in Kurdistan in support of oil and natural gas companies.

The Micro MineWolf achieves quick access to areas with high amounts of metal contamination, which would slow manual deminers using detectors,” Weakley said. “It will also be used to rapidly define the limits of mined areas.

(Source: Sterling Global)

Posted in Oil & Gas, SecurityComments (0)

President Talabani Returns


By John Lee.

President Jalal Talabani returned to Iraq today for the first time since he suffered a stroke a year and a half ago.

In the meantime he was receiving medical treatment in Germany.

Although he is unlikely to take an active role in politics, Reuters reports that Talabani’s return will help rally support for the PUK and may help unite competing factions around one candidate for the presidency, which is typically from the party.

(Source: Reuters, AFP)

Posted in PoliticsComments (0)

KRG Delegation visits Ankara


Kurdistan Regional Government Spokesperson Safeen Dizayee (pictured) said that yesterday a KRG delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and including Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Finance and Economy Rebaz Muhammad, and Spokesperson Safeen Dizayee, travelled to Ankara.

The delegation held meetings with senior Turkish officials, discussing the cooperation agreement in the field of energy that was signed between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey.

The KRG delegation held talks with the Turkish Ministry of Energy regarding a possible increase of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region. The Turkish side expressed its commitment to the terms and conditions of the agreement concluded between the two sides.

Minister Dizayee pointed out that the KRG delegation identified the account to which Kurdistan oil revenues will be deposited at the Turkish Halkbank. He added that it has been decided that handling the amounts in this account would be authorised only by the signatures of Qubad Talabani, Ashti Hawrami, and Rebaz Muhammad.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & TradeComments (0)

Erbil to Haji Omaran Road Slashes Driving Time


The KRG’s Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction is currently building a dual carriageway connecting Erbil to Haji Omaran.

Parts of the road, which include tunnels and bridges, do not pass through the old path known as Hamilton Road.

After the project is completed, the road between Erbil and Haji Omaran will become a dual carriageway. The majority of the project is currently being implemented, including the construction of the Pirmam road and tunnel, the Korey dual carriageway, roadwork in Shaqlawa and Mama Jalka, construction of the Bani Harir tunnel, and the stretch of the dual carriageway from Choman to Haji Omaran.

The project comprises two main sections. The first section includes the construction of the Pirmam road and tunnel, with a total length of 8.822 kilometers. The length of the tunnel is 2.450 km and the length of the road is 6.432 km. The road and tunnel system is 72% completed, and is expected to be open to the public by the middle of 2015.

The first section also includes the expansion of the 21.320 km Korey – Shaqlawa – Mama Jalka road, which requires the construction of two tunnels, 935 and 380 meters long. Approximately 82% of this road and tunnel system has been completed; it is also expected to be finished by the middle of 2015.

Finally, the first section includes the construction of the Bani Harir tunnel system, with a total length of 4.415 km. The tunnel itself is 3.565 km, and the road is 850 meters long. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Erbil to Haji Omaran dual carriageway 2The second section of the project consists of the construction of the 16.685 km dual carriageway connecting Choman to Haji Omaran, to be completed by the end of 2017.

Along with lessening the time required for travel and reducing the number of traffic accidents, the construction of Erbil-Haji Omaran road is expected to boost the Region’s trade relations with regional and neighboring countries because of its strategic location. It will also connect villages, towns, and areas near the highway with the Kurdistan Region’s major cities.

Archibald Hamilton, an engineer from New Zealand, built the old strategic road in the late 1920s in order to link Erbil to Haji Omaran. He has recalled his work in the book Road through Kurdistan: The Narrative of an Engineer in Iraq, published in London in 1937.

In terms of developing other road networks in Kurdistan, the Ministry has completed the design and preparation of the dual carriageway road and tunnel between Mama Jalka and Choman, with a length of 62.685 km. This length includes 15.540 km of tunnel and 47.145 km of road. This will be implemented through phases according to the Ministry’s annual budget.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Industry & Trade, Public Works, TransportationComments (0)

Kurds Seize Oilfields, Leave Cabinet


By John Lee.

Kurdish politicians officially suspended their participation in the Iraqi government on Friday, as forces under their control seized two oilfields in northern Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has appointed temporary replacements for the five Kurdish ministers of the cabinet.

Kurdish forces took over the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oilfields near Kirkuk; an oil ministry spokesman in Baghdad described the takeover as dangerous and irresponsible.

(Source: Gulf Today)

(Picture: Iraqi Cabinet)

Posted in Oil & Gas, Politics, SecurityComments (0)

KRG Statement on Kirkuk Oil Fields


KRG statement on recent events at oil facilities and infrastructure in Makhmour district

This morning, members of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kirkuk Oil Protection Forces moved to secure the oil fields of Bai Hassan and the Makhmour area, after learning of orders by officials in the federal Ministry of Oil in Baghdad to sabotage the recent mutually-agreed pipeline infrastructure linking the Avana dome with the Khurmala field.

The nearby Bai Hassan field and the other fields located in Makhmour district are now safely under KRG management. The KRG expects production at these fields to continue normally. Staff at the North Oil Company that previously operated these fields have been informed that from tomorrow they will be expected to cooperate with KRG management. Those who do not want to do so can leave.

The new pipeline linking Khurmala with Avana was designed and constructed with the express purpose of facilitating export from the Makhmour, Avana and Kirkuk area fields through the KRG pipeline network to help increase revenues for Iraqis, at a time of great need and at a time when most of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline is under ISIS control.

The new infrastructure was built and paid for by the KRG, working in full cooperation with officials and engineers at North Oil Company. However, the KRG learned on Thursday that some officials in the federal Ministry of Oil gave orders to a number of NOC staff to cease their cooperation with the KRG and to dismantle or render inoperable the valves on the new pipeline.

The Avana and Makhmour fields have been unable to export since March because the main Iraq-Turkey pipeline has been damaged by terrorist attacks. The main Iraq pipeline lies mostly within territory recently surrendered by the federal government to ISIS.

Posted in Oil & Gas, SecurityComments (0)

The Oil Will Continue to Flow


By Padraig O’Hannelly.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has upped the ante in the continuing dispute with Baghdad over oil export revenues.

In response to what it describes as “the Iraqi federal government … not sharing revenues in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution“, the KRG has threatened to take legal action against anyone who buys oil from the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO).

This follows Baghdad’s earlier threat to take legal action against buyers of Kurdish crude, which is now flowing in greater volumes through the new pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan; these threats appear to have frightened some potential buyers, with several tanker-loads of Kurdish crude still remaining unsold after weeks at sea.

It now seems probable that these issues will have to be resolved in the context of more autonomous or even fully independent Kurdistan, which many expect to follow a planned referendum in the region.

In the meantime, it seems unlikely that the potential for courtroom battles will stop the flow of oil from either Kurdistan or Southern Iraq to where it is needed.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Blog, Oil & GasComments (0)

KRG Warns SOMO Customers


The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) threatened on Wednesday to take legal action against buyers of Iraqi oil unless the autonomous region is paid its share of revenue from any sales.

The full text of the statement from the KRG follows:

Under Article 112 of the Iraqi Constitution, the Iraqi federal government is legally required to distribute oil and gas revenues from present fields “in a fair manner in proportion to the population distribution in all parts of the country.”

Under Article 112, the KRG is entitled to 17% of all proceeds from oil sales by the Federal Oil Ministry and the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) (or any other division of the Iraqi federal government).

The KRG has the right, in circumstances where the Iraqi federal government is not sharing revenues in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution, to take such action as the KRG considers appropriate to obtain all entitlements the Iraqi federal government is required to pay to the KRG under the Iraqi Constitution. This right is reflected in Kurdistan law.

Since at least 2005, the Federal Oil Ministry has failed to comply with its constitutional and legal duties to the KRG, including under Article 112. The Federal Oil Ministry and SOMO continue to sell and to seek to sell oil, gas and other petroleum products to third parties, and to retain the full proceeds of such sales, all in violation of the KRG’s express constitutional and legal rights, and without the participation or approval of the KRG.

Posted in Oil & GasComments (0)

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