Tag Archive | "Kurdistan"

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

Kurdistan-Iran Energy Contract

By Patrick M Schmidt.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has announced that they will pursue a new energy contract with Iran. It is expected that this contract will be similar to the current one with Turkey.

Sherko Jawdat, Head of the Industry and Energy Committee, said, “strong oil and economic relations with Iran are part of the KRG’s economic policy.

The Iraqi central government disapproves of any “illegal” contracts that the KRG signs with foreign nations and has threatened legal action.

(Source: Basnews)

(Map image via Shutterstock)

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Kurdish Oil Shipment Seized

By Patrick M Schmidt.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has successfully obtained the documentation needed to seize oil from the United Kalavrvta and place it under the protection of the United States Marshals.

The value of the ship’s payload is approximately $100 million dollars (1.2 billion Iraqi dinars). The oil onboard had been “illegal” piped out of Kurdistan to a Turkish port facility.

The United States government will maintain possession of the oil until a solution has been reached between the Iraqi central government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

According to CBS, on Monday attorneys for the Iraqi government warned SPT, a Houston-based maritime company, not to unload the Kurdish crude oil, reportedly saying the oil is stolen property.

It is believed that an successful attempt by the KRG to sell its own oil would be a major step forward in its push for independence.

(Sources: Bloomberg, CBS)

(Picture: Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

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Tanker Cleared to Offload Kurdish Oil

By Patrick M Schmidt.

On Sunday, the United States Coast Guard granted permission for the Kurdish oil tanker, United Kalavrvta, to offload its payload of crude oil from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) controlled oilfields in northern Iraq.

The State Department further indicated that they would not prevent tanker from offloading at port in Galveston, Texas (pictured). This action follows threats from Baghdad to sue any nation that accepts the “illegal” oil.

The tanker is carrying one million barrels of crude that is valued at over $100 million dollars at current market prices.

The tanker will now begin the process of unloading its payload to smaller vessels that will then take the oil into port for storage and processing. It is estimated the entire offloading process will take several days.

(Source: Reuters)

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Audio: Kurdistan – a State of Uncertainty

From the BBC.

John McCarthy meets the Kurds of northern Iraq, a unique island of stability in a nation broken into warring fragments.

He asks how a people who have been victims of abuse and atrocity for generations managed to transform their fortunes so dramatically.

How did they recently gain the confidence to calmly take over the disputed city of Kirkuk and claim it as their own? And how can they avoid being sucked once more into a maelstrom of violence?

Click here to listen to the BBC programme.


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Economic Prospects for Erbil Look Bright

By Patrick M Schmidt.

While the security situation in some parts of Iraq remains in flux, the north region of Kurdistan continues to attract foreign businesses as a promising location for investment.

With a 12 percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 and another 8 percent growth of GDP in 2013, Kurdistan’s economic figures look strong.

While some challenges do exist in terms of construction and the financial sector, Kurdistan has plenty of available labor with a high percentage of multi-lingual, young workers.

In addition, the rapid economic growth presents a multitude of opportunities for foreign companies to enter the market and assist with critical infrastructure projects.

Currently a number of European expatriates are working to expand their own businesses and reveal the lucrative investment opportunities to those who may initially be scared to enter the market.

(Source: Rudaw)

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Peshmerga to ‘Fill in’ for Iraqi Army

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

Kurdistan’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs said its troops are not attacking armed groups in Iraq, but are just taking defensive positions. It said the speeches of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki do not scare the Kurds, and that the peshmerga forces did not seize weapons of the Iraqi army that was fleeing the battlefields.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Peshmerga Ministry Secretary-General Jabbar Yawar said, “The peshmerga forces are not attacking terrorist groups, and are contenting themselves with taking defensive positions against them, as the distance between us and areas where terrorist groups are present is 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] in length and more than 500-600 kilometers [310-373 miles] in width. Thus, it is difficult to attack them within an area of hundreds of square kilometers.”

In a speech aired on Iraqi media channel Al-Babiliyah on July 2, Maliki rejected the de facto policy that emerged following the Mosul events, and demanded that the Kurds remain committed to the Iraqi Constitution. He threatened to restore areas that the peshmerga forces have controlled during the fall of the Sunni provinces to the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.

For his part, while attending a parliament session, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani said on July 3 that the peshmerga forces were present in the disputed areas before the events of Mosul, and there were areas where the peshmerga and the Iraqi army were present. Yet there are other areas that the peshmerga forces have entered to fill the security vacuum caused by the withdrawal of the Iraqi army that was present there. He noted that the peshmerga forces will not withdraw from these areas.

In response to Maliki, Yawar said, “We do not feel any threat coming from Maliki’s speech, and we hope that he will control the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Maliki is placed in a position where he cannot threaten any party, neither the Kurdistan region nor any neighboring country, and he does not have the ability to implement the threat. He would better think about controlling the situation in Mosul, Ramadi and Salahuddin as I think that he does not have an army to pose a threat to anyone.”

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KRG Considers Building Ifraz Station-4

The General Directorate of Water and Sewage in the Kurdistan Region is considering the implementation of the Ifraz Station-4 project, with a capacity of 25000 cubic meters per hour, due to the increase in the demand for drinking water in the capital, Erbil.

The General Directorate of Water and Sewage last year started to implement the remaining section of the Ifraz Plant-3 project, which provides drinking water to the city of Erbil, in order to reduce the pressure on the other stations.

In a statement to KRG.org the Director General of Water and Sewage in the Kurdistan Region, Sahand Sirwan Ahmad, said that the increase in the demand for consuming drinking water “has pushed the water-producing stations in the Kurdistan Region to work 24 hours a day, where they work at maximum capacity without any rotation during the summer season. This has led to increased pressure on all the stations. This is why completing the remaining 40 percent of the Ifraz Station-3 was necessary.”

This remaining part of the project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a long-term loan. It is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The purpose of the Ifraz Station-4 project is to respond to the possible increase in demand for drinking water in the event that the Ifraz Station-3 can not meet the demand due to the city of Erbil’s projected rise in population. It is expected that the cost of building the Ifraz Station-4 will reach close to $600 million.

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Kurdish Oil Nears US Marketplace

By Patrick M Schmidt.

After a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean, the oil-tanker, United Kalavrvta [United Kalavryta], is just miles off the coast of Florida. The tanker is loaded with one million barrels of crude oil that has a current market value of approximately $100 million (117 billion Iraqi dinars).

The oil onboard is sourced from oilfields in the Kurdistan region, and the vessel is expected to dock in Galveston, Texas, on Saturday.

The Iraqi central government has made it clear that any nation who purchases oil sold direct from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will face legal action. However, for the KRG the successful sale of oil independent from the Iraqi central government would prove a major step in their possible bid for independence.

(Source: Reuters)

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