Tag Archive | "State Oil Marketing Organization"

Turkish Refiner to Buy Kurdish Crude via SOMO


By John Lee.

Turkish refiner Tupras is to buy crude oil from Iraq Kurdistan sold by the Baghdad’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO).

The company’s Deputy General Manager, Hasan Tan, told reporters the oil will be sent by pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean port town of Ceyhan.

The announcement comes a week after Baghdad and Erbil reached a deal to settle a long-running dispute over oil-revenue.

(Source: Reuters)

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Iraq Reviews Oil Prices


By John Lee.

Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) has adjusted its official selling prices for its Basra Light and Kirkuk crude grades for December.

In common with some other countries, Iraq’s oil is priced relative to regional benchmark prices:

  • For shipments to US, contracts are priced are relative to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI);
  • Shipments to Europe are priced relative to the North Sea Spot BFOE (Brent benchmark); and
  • Asian shipmentas are priced relative to the Dubai-Oman crude benchmark, published by Platts, the energy-information division of McGraw-Hill.

The new prices to Europe are as follows:

  • Basra Light to Europe will sell at a discount of $4.45 a barrel to Dated Brent, compared to a discount of $5.40 previously.

And to the US:

  • Basrah Light will sell at a discount of 10 cents to the U.S. benchmark, down 50 cents on the previous month.
  • Kirkuk will sell at a premium of $1.75, down from a premium of $2.00 last month.

To Asia:

  • Basrah Light to Asia will sell at a discount of $2.50 to the benchmark, up from a discount of $3.15 last month.

(Sources: Bloomberg, WSJ)

(Oil image via Shutterstock)

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PM Barzani “Will Not hand Control to SOMO”


Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani talked to the press following yesterday’s Parliament session hosting the Kurdistan Region Oil and Gas Council.

Prime Minister Barzani said the Region would not hand oil control to the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organisation, SOMO. He noted the federal government cannot export oil from Kirkuk without involving the Kurdistan Region.

He said, “We wish to settle all outstanding issues with Baghdad. However, if we do not reach agreement, the Kurdistan Regional Government has other solutions.” The Prime Minister also affirmed that trading with the ISIS terrorist organisation is national betrayal.

He informed the press, “When the Iraqi Government stopped Kurdistan Region’s budget we were not exporting oil and their decision was unilateral. The Kurdistan Region seeks a mechanism where such situations would not reoccur”.

Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that Baghdad has not provided funds for the salaries of the Region’s civil servants since January. He said, “With the policies we have adopted, we have so far managed to pay salaries to some extent.”

He hoped the KRG could soon overcome this situation so the issue of salaries would no longer make headlines. He expressed confidence the KRG would reach that level.

Deputy Prime Minister Talabani informed the press that the United States, Britain, and the United Nations are concerned about the situation and they are exerting pressure on the Iraqi Government to honour the promises they made to the Kurdistan Region during the government formation process.

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No SOMO Office for Erbil


By John Lee.

Nechirvan Barzani (pictured), Iraqi Kurdistan’s Prime Minister, has denied reports that Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) will open an office in Erbil.

Kurdish MP, Dilshad Sha’ban, has also told BasNews:

“After we heard reports of SOMO wants to open office in Kurdistan region, we followed on the report, and we found out is not true.”

(Source: BasNews)

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Basra Light Crude may Split into 2 Grades


By John Lee.

The Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) has proposed splitting its Basra Light crude supply into two grades.

Reuters cites trade sources as saying that SOMO and has requested feedback on the proposal by the end of the week from buyers in Asia.

Iraq now plans to offer two grades of crude for exports from its southern terminals: “light” with an API gravity of 29 degrees, and “heavy” with an API gravity of 24-25 degrees.

SOMO would set monthly official selling prices (OSPs) for each grade.

(Source: Reuters)

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Iraq Bans KRG Tankers


By John Lee.

Platts reports that Iraq has banned three oil tankers from loading at its oil terminals.

in response to direct exports of crude by the Kurdistan Regional Government over the objections of Baghdad, shipping market sources said Friday.

The United Carrier (pictured), the United Dynamic and the Nautilus have previously transported crude on behalf of the KRG. The United Dynamic and the United Carrier are managed by Greece-based Marine Management Services (MMS).

A document from Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) gave no reason for the ban, but a chartering source told the news agency:

Ships that loaded Kurdish crude have been blacklisted by Iraq …

“Maybe they [shipping companies] are getting a high premium [for loading Kurdish] crude and their activity is not reported.”

(Source: Platts)

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New US Airbase ‘No Threat To Iran’


This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Spokesman For Iraqi Kurdish Govt: ‘New US Airbase in Erbil No Threat To Iran’

NIQASH interviewed Safeen Dizayee, the spokesperson for the government of semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. During a candid and wide ranging conversation, Dizayee spoke about why the US is building a new airbase in the region, where exactly Iraqi Kurdish oil is going and whether refugees in the region are being maltreated.

Over the past few months, Iraqi Kurdistan has come under attack from Sunni Muslim extremists in the group known as the Islamic State, it has become home to over a million refugees and it has also been subject to a “financial blockade” by the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

NIQASH held a wide-ranging conversation with Safeen Dizayee, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Kurdish government in the semi-autonomous northern region and a member of the region’s biggest political party, the Kurdish Democratic Party.

The conversation covered everything from the establishment of a new US air base in Iraqi Kurdistan to whether Iraqi Kurdish authorities were discriminating against Arab refugees. He also discussed whether Iranian and Turkish reactions to Iraq’s security crisis were adequate as well as where exactly Iraqi Kurdish oil was being exported to, and how much of it was going there.

Dizayee also commented on whether Iraqi Kurdish authorities might be getting any closer to resolving their long standing disputes with the government in Baghdad, especially now there is a new Prime Minister in charge.

The conversation has been split into three parts for ease of reading.

On US Plans To Build Air Base in Erbil

NIQASH: Apparently the US has also decided to build a military base – maybe more than one – in Iraqi Kurdistan. What can you tell us about this?

Safeen Dizayee: Discussions are continuing about the specifics of this issue. Nothing has happened on the ground as yet.

NIQASH: Would this base be a substitute to the nearest US base, the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey?

Dizayee: No. Incirlik Air Base is a NATO base and it will remain so. The prospective air base in Erbil is in order to confront the IS group in the nearby area.

NIQASH: Do you think that the Iranians will see this as a threat to their influence in the region?

Dizayee: Incirlik Air Base and other US military bases in the Gulf States – in places like Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – are also close to Iran. The base to be built in Erbil is all about fighting the IS group, not about confronting Iran, or any other country, in any way. We have stressed time and again that we don’t want Iraqi Kurdistan to become a battlefield for major powers in the region.

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BP, CNPC Increase Stakes in Rumaila


By John Lee.

Reuters reports that a revised contract signed last week by BP and China’s CNPC for the Rumaila oilfield has raised both companies’ stakes in the project.

Thamer Ghadhban (pictured), energy adviser to former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, told the news agency that BP’s share has been increased from 38 percent to 47.6 percent, and CNPC’s from 37 percent to 46.4 percent.

The stake owned by Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) was cut from 25 percent to 6 percent.

It was reported earlier this week that output targets for the supergiant field had been reduced, and the contract period extended.

(Source: Reuters)

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