Tag Archive | "Kurdistan"

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

$46bn-Worth of Projects Boosts Kurdistan Region

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects conference 2014 shows why the region, long seen as a platform for doing business elsewhere in Iraq, has now become a hotspot for investments.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has long been considered as a business friendly environment for foreign companies and a gateway for doing business elsewhere in the country. But recent developments have seen an upsurge in business activity making it one of the fastest growing economies on earth.

The region’s projects market reflects the growing demand for all types of goods and services. There are approximately $46bn-worth of projects currently planned or under way in the energy, construction, tourism and basic infrastructure sectors that make the Kurdistan Region one of the most dynamic projects markets in the world.

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects conference scheduled to take place on 8-10 June at The Rotana, Erbil, will provide a comprehensive overview of the projects market by sector and outline where the main opportunities lie for investors, financiers, contractors, and suppliers.

We are delighted to work with the Kurdistan Regional Government and major private sector investors on this ground breaking conference set to reveal opportunities across key sectors including: oil & gas, power, real estate, industry, hospitality & tourism, water & agriculture and banking & finance,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events. “Being the only event catering to all major areas of the region’s economy and attracting all the region’s leading stakeholders, this is a must attend event for any organisation looking to expand existing business in the Kurdistan Region or enter this booming market to explore new business opportunities”.

Other healthy signs indicating Kurdistan’s steady march to progress has been the growing inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Kurdistan is open for business and the National Investment Law of 2006 has attracted more than $20bn to the region already with the government actively encouraging further investment most notably in the Water, Agriculture, Industry, Tourism and Power sectors. As of June 2013 there are now in excess of 2,300 foreign companies registered in addition to the 15,000 local companies.

It has been especially successful in opening up the power sector, with 75 per cent of electricity in Kurdistan currently coming from independent power projects. With ample opportunities in oil and gas, and demand continuing to grow for power and water, there will be increased opportunities for FDI in these sectors and across the board,” said Leo Koot, President, TAQA Iraq.

The cornerstone of the region’s economy is the untapped natural resources proving highly attractive for oil companies. The region is moving rapidly from exploration to production, and with political stability and security unrivalled elsewhere in Iraq, there are numerous openings throughout the hydrocarbons value chain.

Erbil has also been called “the next Dubai”, thanks to the huge construction boom currently under way. Its build-it-and-they-will-come attitude is now maturing as the Kurdistan region develops, with the Prime Minister releasing details on a plan to improve the quality of future property developments including the implementation of building regulations and an active building control department.

Tourism is likely to receive a major boost as Tourism Erbil has been named the Arab Tourism Capital 2014 by the Arab Council of Tourism. “Hotels are springing up in the city and further afield, and Kurdistan is taking advantage of its safe reputation to develop attractions and leisure projects that will attract more visitors,” continued O’ Sullivan.

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects conference 2014 is supported by the Kurdistan Regional Government and Department of Foreign Relations, UKTI, Taqa as Strategic Event Partner, as well as U.S.-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) and Kurdish Europe Dutch Business Community (KDBC). Drake and Scull has signed up as the event’s Conference Sponsor and Parsons is on board as the Networking Programme Sponsor. With massive interest in Kurdistan’s further development growing, organisers are encouraging early registration at www.kurdistanprojects.com.

About MEED’s Kurdistan Projects conference 2014

Kurdistan Projects 2014 is a ground breaking event detailing exclusive project opportunities across the Kurdistan Region, taking place in the heart of Erbil. This year’s edition includes n

Rebecca Cousins

Marketing Executive, Kurdistan Projects 2014

T +971 (0) 48180281

E Rebecca.cousins@meed.com


For media-related inquiries and assistance, please contact:

Anthon Garcia

PR Consultant, Kurdistan Projects 2014

M +971 50 139 8661

E anthon@meacommunications.com

Posted in Construction & EngineeringComments (0)

French Firm to build mini Eiffel Tower

By John Lee.

A French company is planning to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Sulaymaniyah.

But according to reports from Zawya, the structure will be a mere three storeys high. The project will include shops selling French products, and will feature laser lights showing the flags of Kurdistan and France.

The name of the French investor behind this project has not yet been revealed.

In line with investment laws in Kurdistan, foreign investors are asked to carry out a tourism project in the city where they intend to invest,” said Yousuf Yassin, director of Sulaymaniyah municipality.

(Source: Zawya)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Leisure and TourismComments (0)

Luaibi sees Kurd Oil Export Deal Soon

By John Lee.

Iraqi oil minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi [Elaibi] (pictured) has said that parliament set up a high-level delegation several days ago to resolve the oil export dispute between Baghdad and Erbil, and he expects a deal to be reached within days.

According to Reuters, Ankara is awaiting Iraq’s blessing before allowing exports to begin through a new pipeline to the port of Ceyhan — more than 1 million barrels of oil have already been shipped.

Iraq wants to double the oil flow to Ceyhan to more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) with the construction of a second line.

We are building a pipeline in Iraq,” Luaibi told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Ankara. “I believe the daily oil flow will exceed 1 million barrels a day when that line is completed. I hope it happens this year.

(Source: Reuters)

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Iraq’s First Pizza Hut Opens

By John Lee.

Yum! Brands has announced the opening of the first Pizza Hut in Iraq with franchise partner, Al Kout Food Company.

The new restaurant in the popular Majidi Mall in Erbil features “a full casual dine-in experience for Iraqi consumers with a vibrant, youthful design and seating for 120 people. The menu is in Kurdish and offers a range of appetizers, pizzas and flatbreads, pasta, salads, desserts and drinks”.

Scott Bergren, CEO of Pizza Hut and Chief Innovation Officer of Yum! Brands said:

We’re pleased to be able to bring Pizza Hut to Iraq as part of the explosive growth for our brand around the world. While Pizza Hut’s footprint is already significantly larger than our nearest competitor, we’ve still just scratched the surface of global growth.

“We are taking the powerful Pizza Hut Red Roof icon and accelerating the development of our brand across the Delivery, Express, and Dine-In channels around the world as only we can.

Mrs. Fadwa Al-Homaizi, Managing Director, Al Kout Food Company and Co-founder and Chairwoman, Kout Food Group, said:

Kout Food Group is proud of its partnership with Yum! and the success of launching the first Pizza Hut Dine-In store in Iraq. Our utmost priority is to serve our customers with excellent products and services. This is in line with our strategy of expansion in Iraq. More and more customers are visiting the restaurant to test the high-quality Pizza Hut products and to enjoy the dine-in experience.

Al Kout Food Company plans to open four more Pizza Hut restaurants in Iraq this year including three in Erbil and one in Sulaymaniyah. The franchisee expects that the five restaurants, including the new Pizza Hut, will create more than 150 jobs in the region by the end of the year.

Iraq-based Al Kout Food Company is owned by Kout Food Group which is located in Kuwait.

(Source: Yum)

Posted in Leisure and TourismComments (0)

Kurdistan Minister Meets German Think Tank

The Head of the KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, and Assistant Head of the DFR, Ms. Siham Jabali, met with the Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Dr. Volker Perth, to brief him on KRG foreign and domestic policy and the current political developments in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the Middle East generally.

Minister Mustafa welcomed Dr. Perth to Kurdistan and discussed the history and development of the KRG. He said, “In 1992 elections were held. There was no international recognition, but this first free and fair election was a milestone achievement for the people of this Region, and our progress today stems from such early, home-grown accomplishments.” German Consul General Mr. Alfred Simms-Protz accompanied Dr. Perth in the meeting.

Minister Mustafa also discussed a variety of essential KRG policy matters, including the disputes with Baghdad, the unpredictable situation in Syria, the KRG relationship with Turkey and Iran, and the KRG relationship with Europe and the international community. The Minister emphasized the KRG’s policy of dialogue and peaceful, constructive negotiations with the federal government, outlining the KRG’s hope of resolution and progress in accordance with the constitution of Iraq.

Regarding the KRG role in the ongoing Syrian conflict and refugee crisis, Minister Mustafa said, “We remain concerned about the situation in Syria and we have urged and will continue to urge the Kurds of Syria to stand united.” He added, “It is our national and moral obligation to help refugees wherever and whenever we can because not long ago, we too were refugees, scattered throughout the mountains of Turkey and Iran.”

Minister Mustafa stated that the KRG has an open-door policy and enthusiastically welcomes mutually beneficial relationships with any nation willing to stretch out the hand of friendship. While pleased by the level of relations that the KRG enjoys with the German government, the Minister expressed the importance of a more consolidated relationship between the two governments and more high level visits between Erbil and Berlin.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & Trade, SecurityComments (0)

KRG briefs Middle East Institute

A delegation from the Middle East Institute, an American think tank, visited the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Relations where they met with the Head of the DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa, and the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali.

The delegation, headed by former Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, discussed their visit to Kurdistan, highlighting the productive meeting with Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani. Members of the delegation said this meeting answered a number of questions pertaining to the latest developments in Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East generally.

Minister Mustafa welcomed Ambassador Chamberlin and the visiting delegation and discussed Iraq’s current status, particularly in relation to the forthcoming parliamentary elections. He expressed his hope that these elections would help bring stability and security to Iraq and help resolve outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

Issues that have yet to be addressed, despite repeated promises over the years, include the passage of a federal hydrocarbons law and a revenue sharing law, the implementation of genuine power sharing in the federal government and of Article 140, the status of the KRG’s share of the national budget, and the status and budget of the peshmerga regional guard. Minister Mustafa said, “Unfortunately, none of these issues have been addressed and instead Kurdistan is treated as a province rather than as a federal region – despite constitutional stipulations.”

After briefing the delegation about the history of the Kurds and the path to democratization which began after the Kurdish uprising of 1991, Minister Mustafa said, “The Kurdish people played a vital role in developing and protecting the ‘New Iraq’ after the fall of the former regime in 2003. We helped in the difficult task of ensuring security not only in the Kurdistan Region but also elsewhere in Iraq.”

The delegation asked Minister Mustafa a number of questions related to the political and economic developments in Kurdistan, the situation and future of Iraq, and relations between Iraq and its neighbors. The minister explained the KRG’s policy of ensuring peaceful relations with all neighbors and non-interference in the internal matters of any other country.

The ongoing Syrian crisis was a major topic of discussion, particularly the grave humanitarian situation and the number of refugees currently sheltered in the Kurdistan Region. Minister Mustafa spoke about the importance of unity among Syrian Kurds, which would provide them with the best opportunity to achieve their objectives and decide their future. He also praised the role of the United Nations and related agencies in caring for refugees, asking the delegation to encourage NGOs to provide further assistance.

Refugee needs range from education to healthcare to sanitation. As there is no clear solution in sight for Syria, foreign governments, international organizations and NGOs will be critical in providing assistance to refugees in the Kurdistan Region.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & Trade, SecurityComments (0)

Baroness Nicholson’s Speech to Investment Forum

Speech given by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK Trade Envoy for Iraq and Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council, to the ‘Investment Forum in Iraq and Kurdistan Region’, Rotana Hotel, Erbil:

‘I am indeed grateful for the privilege of addressing this eminent audience,and I thank most warmly the President of The Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and President of the Erbil Chamber, Mr Dara Al-Khayat for his kind invitation and for his Federations’s continuing great work.

May I thank too the President of the Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Jaafar Al-Hamdani. The Chambers of his Federation, who cover the Federal Republic of Iraq are well known to us all for their continuing hard work, overall excellence and high standards. And I thank the Governor, Mr Nowzad Hadi and the people of Erbil for their gracious hospitality throughout this conference.

It was indeed a pleasure to hear the Governor speak earlier this morning; and for the conference to be addressed first by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Roche Nuri Shaways who powerfully reminded us of the huge investment opportunities now offered throughout the regions of Iraq and Kurdistan. His Excellency Mr Adnan Kassar brings the entire Arab Union Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to Erbil and his members know of the extraordinary business and industry strengths Iraq and the Kurdistan region possess.

I speak today as Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council,which is based in London, Erbil, Basra and Baghdad. Our work is designed to facilitate stronger commercial and industrial partnerships between our countries,and to open up new opportunities for our member companies in Britain and Iraq.

We are an international organisation which takes full advantage of the global reach of the City of London and, too, of the truly international nature of the UK. Our membership reflects Britain’s multinational businesses and is not confined to companies that began in the UK.

Posted in Industry & TradeComments (0)

Afren Announce Full Year Results

By John Lee.

Afren have announced their full year results for 2013, highlighting what they describe as record revenues and cash flows, production ahead of guidance, continued exploration success and significant balance sheet strength.

Included here are the company results for their work in the Kurdish region of Iraq. You can see more detail on the company’s 2013 results, including details of their operations in Africa, here.

·      Strong production of 47,112 boepd drives record revenue (US$1.6 billion) and cash flow (US$1.2 billion); 2014E gross production expected to average 62,000 bopd (approximately 40,000 bopd net)

·      Targeting double digit growth in net production over the next five years

·      201% 2P reserves replacement ratio in 2013; including Okwok 2P reserves addition of 46.6 mmbbls (26.4 mmbbls net)

·      Ogo – the third largest global discovery in 2013; P50 resources estimated at 774 mmboe; moving forward with appraisal programme

·      Large existing opportunity set; allocating 2014 capex (estimated US$845m) to highest cash return projects and further exploration drilling

·      12 month E&A campaign targeting over 1,200 mmboe in net prospective resources

·      Net debt of US$739 million; balance sheet strengthened with extended debt maturity, lower cost of debt and improved deferred tax position

·      Award of five-year tax exemption in relation to Ebok


Financial overview
FY 2013 FY 2012 Change (%)
Revenue (US$m) 1,644 1,571 5%
Gross profit (US$m) 643 791 -19%
Profit before tax (US$m)* 318 569 -44%
Profit after tax (US$m)* 475 189 151%
Normalised profit before tax (US$m)** 483 637 -24%
Cash flow from operations (US$m) 1,216 974 25%
Net working interest production (boepd) 47,112 43,830 8%
Realised oil price (US$/bbl) 106 108 -2%
Net debt (US$m) 739 561 32%
Gearing 41% 39%
* From continuing operations.** Normalised profit before tax is reconciled to statutory profit before tax in note 8 of the attached financial information. 

Commenting today, Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive, said:

 ”2013 has been another excellent year for Afren, with a combination of record revenues and cash flows, production ahead of guidance and industry leading exploration success. The highlight of our exploration campaign was the play opening discovery at Ogo, offshore Nigeria, one of the largest global discoveries in 2013. We have continued to grow and de-risk our portfolio with a 2P reserves replacement ratio of 201%.  Looking ahead, we will maintain our strategy of allocating capital to the highest cash return opportunities that will provide the necessary funding to continue to de-risk our material resource base. Supported by a strengthened balance sheet, a track record of project delivery and exploration success, we are well placed to continue to create significant value for our shareholders.”

Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Barda Rash
Working interest 60%
Operator Afren
Gross 2P certified reserves 190 mmbbls*
Gross contingent resources 1,243 mmbbls*
Gross production 639 bopd
Work programme Production and development
* Source: RPS Energy. Reserves and Resources remaining as at 31 December 2012, adjusted for 2013 production.


A world-class development project

The Barda Rash PSC is 55 km north-west of Erbil, and holds the 14,015 mmbbls STOIIP and 1,433 mmbbls gross recoverable Barda Rash oil field. The field is defined as an elongated anticline with surface expression of 20 km length and up to 7 km width. The reservoirs are fractured carbonates of various depositional settings.

In 2009, the BR-1 discovery well was drilled to 5,535 ft and successfully encountered oil in Cretaceous to Jurassic reservoirs. Well tests were carried out on the Jurassic Mus and Adaiyah formations, each yielding rates of around 3,200 bopd, with a subsequent extended test of the BR-1 well producing 440,000 barrels of 30° to 32° API oil over a three-month period. During this time, oil was trucked from onsite storage and sent to local refineries. Two further wells were drilled at the field in 2010, BR-2 and BR-3, both encountering oil full-to-base in all reservoirs. The field is defined by 326 km2 of good quality 3D seismic data.

In 2012, we commenced the phased development of the field, initially targeting the development of light oil reserves. Having begun an extensive testing programme at the BR-1 well in July 2012, and establishing oil rates in excess of 6,000 bopd of 28° to 32° API oil, as well as obtaining valuable information on the production characteristics of the Mus/Adaiyah reservoir, we initiated production operations in August 2012. In July 2013, we commenced preliminary crude oil sales from the Barda Rash PSC to the local market. Gross production at the field averaged 639 bopd during 2013.

2014 outlook

Afren has now moved to the second phase of development on the field, which involves drilling new wells to increase production capacity and acquiring modern log and core data to better understand and delineate the field.

The Partners commenced drilling on the BR-5 well in Q1 2013 using the Romfor-23 drilling rig which is currently operating at circa 14,436 ft. They also commenced drilling the BR-4 well in May 2013, using the Viking I-10 rig. The well reached a total depth of 13,800 ft.

As part of an ongoing programme BR-4 has tested two horizons in the Triassic Kurra Chine formation at 6,100 bopd and 1,750 bopd respectively. The BR-5 well has intersected a similar hydrocarbon-bearing sequence in the Kurra Chine formation and will be tested in due course. Flow lines and facilities will be updated to bring BR-4 and BR-5 into production during 2014.


Kurdistan region of IraqAin Sifni
Working interest 20%
Operator Hunt Oil Middle East Ltd
Gross contingent resources 42 mmbbls*
Work programme Development
* Source: RPS Energy. Resources remaining as at 9 June 2011.



The Ain Sifni PSC is located 70 km north-west of Erbil, and is operated by Hunt Oil Middle East Limited. Drilled on the crest of the Simrit anticline in 2010, the JS-1 discovery well logged continuous oil from 3,642 ft to 10,072 ft in Cretaceous and Jurassic reservoirs. Triassic reservoir targets were not penetrated by the well and no oil water contact was established.

On 17 April 2012, the Group announced that the Simrit-2 exploration well had successfully encountered an estimated 1,342 ft of net oil in Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic age reservoirs. The well was initially drilled to its prognosed total measured depth of 12,139 ft but was subsequently deepened to a revised total depth of 12,467 ft to test additional zones of prospectivity.

The Partners completed drilling on the Simrit-2 exploration well in July 2012. The objective of the well was to test the western extent of the Simrit anticline, a large-scale east to west trending structure located on the northern part of the Ain Sifni PSC. Analysis of data collected over the deepened section of well indicated the continual presence of light oil shows, and extended the estimated oil shows encountered by the well to 1,509 ft throughout Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic age reservoirs.

Following the conclusion of drilling operations at Simrit-2, a comprehensive well test programme was undertaken. Operator Hunt Oil completed the Simrit-2 Extended Well Test (EWT) programme during the second half of 2013. Produced crude was trucked to local markets. The Simrit-3 well, exploring the eastern extent of the large scale Simrit anticline, tested a cumulative rate of 6,293 bopd. The well has been configured as a produced water disposal well.

2014 outlook

In June 2013, operator Hunt Oil spudded the Maqlub-1 well testing the high potential Maqlub structure to the south of the block and is currently drilling ahead in the Jurassic reservoirs. To date hydrocarbons have been encountered in the Cretaceous and Jurassic reservoirs as confirmed by wireline, Logging While Drilling (LWD), cuttings and gas data.

Operator Hunt has submitted a declaration of commerciality on the block. Simrit-4 was spudded in early 2014. This well will target the Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs.

Following the success at Simrit, the Partners expect further growth in reserves and resources at Ain Sifni in 2014.


Posted in Oil & GasComments (0)

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