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Zhongman (ZPEC)

China's Zhongman wins $27m Iraqi Drilling Contract

By John Lee.

China’s Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group Corp., Ltd. (ZPEC) has reportedly announced a new drilling contract with Weatherford in Southern Iraq.

Chinese media reports that the deal is worth approximately $27 million, and follows another contract with Weatherford in Iraq agreed in December.

The oil field was not identified.

(Source: Eastmoney)

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Weatherford rig 842 (GKP)

Weatherford Wins New Business in Iraq

Weatherford International plc (OTC-PINK:WFTIQ) has announced it has been awarded two fully integrated rig contracts and one well services (through-tubing intervention) contract with a multinational operator in one of the world’s largest proven oil fields located in Iraq.

Frederico Justus, President of the Eastern Hemisphere for Weatherford, said:

Weatherford has operated in Iraq since 2006, longer than any other multinational oilfield services provider.

“During that time, Weatherford proved to operators in Iraq that its capabilities across the life of the well reduce costs, enhance safety and maximize production efficiency.

"This experience gave the operator confidence in our ability to execute these turnkey drilling projects in one of their most strategic global locations.

For the next two years, Weatherford will provide integrated services to drill development wells in one of Iraq’s most productive oil fields.

For the next five years, Weatherford will provide in-country support and specialized well services, including workshop services, fishing, milling, water shutoff and zonal isolation.

(Source: Weatherford)

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ADES International

ADES Expands into Southern Iraq

By John Lee.

ADES International Holding Ltd., a London-listed company providing offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling and production services in the Middle East and Africa, is to expand into Southern Iraq.

The company will acquire two idle land rigs in Iraq from Weatherford, as part of a $287.5-million deal to buy 31 rigs from the Swiss-based company.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Mohamed Farouk, Chief Executive Officer of ADES International Holding, said:

"We are truly delighted to have signed this agreement with Weatherford ... [which] significantly expands ADES' total fleet and more than doubles its operational fleet"

(Sources: ADES International Holding Ltd., Weatherford)

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Weatherford oil drilling

Weatherford has "largely completed" Zubair Project

By John Lee.

In its First Quarter 2016 Results, oil services company Weatherford said that it has now largely completed its Zubair project in Iraq.

Net cash expenditure on the project to date amounts to $47 million.

Shares in Weatherford have fallen by almost 30 percent since the results announcement.

(Source: Weatherford, Yahoo!)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News 3 Comments

corrupion - shutterstock_141755548

New Allegations of Massive Corruption in Iraq Oil Industy

By John Lee.

An investigation by Fairfax Media -- publisher of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers -- and The Huffington Post, claims that Monaco-based Unaoil has been involved in widespread bribery and corruption in the oil industry, including in Iraq, Iran and Libya.

Following examination of tens of thousands of emails, the report says that Unaoil channelled huge bribes to government officials on behalf of its clients to help win billions of dollars worth of government contracts.

In Iraq, it accuses the company, and its country manager Basil Al Jarah, of arranging bribes for clients including Rolls-Royce, Petrofac, Clyde Pumps, Weatherford, Cameron/Natco, FMC Technologies, Saipem, SBM Offshore, MAN Turbo, Rosetti Marino, ABB, The Shaw Group, Core Labs, Leighton Offshore, Weir and Hyundai.

Public officials allegedly implicated include Dr Hussain al-Shahristani, former Minister for Oil and current Minister for Education, who has denied any wrongdoing; Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi [Elaibi], former Minister for Oil; Kifah Numan, Director General of the South Oil Company (SOC); Dhia Jaffar also a Director General of the SOC and since last year a Deputy Minister for Oil in the Iraqi government; and Oday al-Quraishi (SOC).

According to the report, "Unaoil made Dhia Jaffar and Oday al-Quraishi wealthy men."

Family owned and controlled, Unaoil was founded by the Iranian-born Ata Ahsani, who left Tehran at the time of the Islamic revolution. The company says it "strenuously [denies] any wrongdoing and consider[s] the allegations to be baseless and entirely false."

The original story can be read in more detail here.

(Source: The Age)

(Corruption image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Construction & Engineering In Iraq, Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security 5 Comments

radioactive material - shutterstock_377620792

Missing Radioactive Material Located

By John Lee.

Radioactive material that went missing in Iraq in November has been found, apparently undamaged, on Sunday near a patrol station in Zubair.

The chief of the security panel at the Basra Provincial Council told Reuters:

"A passer-by found the radioactive device dumped in Zubair and immediately informed security forces which went with a special radiation prevention team and retrieved the device.

"After initial checking I can confirm the device is intact 100 percent and there is absolutely no concern of radiation."

(Sources: CNN, Reuters)

(Radioactive material image via Shutterstock)

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radioactive material - shutterstock_377620792

Weatherford, SGS deny Responsibility for Stolen Radioactive Material

By John Lee.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has told Reuters of a theft a radioactive source in Zubair.

The industrial radiography device is described Ir-192 in a shielding container, which is classified as a Category 2 radioactive substance, meaning that if not managed properly it could be fatal to someone exposed for a period of hours to days.

SGS, the testing company which was using the material at a Weatherford site, issued the following statement:

"SGS Turkey was hired by the oil services company Weatherford to perform standard non-destructing testing activities on pipes at an oil field in Southern Iraq. The equipment used for these services is equipped with a low level radioactive source.

"The site where these operations are conducted is fully secured and guarded by security guards under the responsibility of the owner of the site. SGS does not assume any responsibility for the site security and does not control accesses. SGS is one of many contractors active on the site.

"When not in use, the equipment and radioactive source are stored in a secured bunker designed for that effect and provided by Weatherford. The disappearance of the equipment occurred while the equipment was stored in the Weatherford bunker. The loss was discovered on November 3, 2015.

"SGS Turkey/Erbil Branch Office immediately notified the Iraqi authorities and fully cooperated with the investigation conducted by the competent authorities."

Meanwhile, Weatherford has told Reuters:

"Weatherford has no responsibility or liability in relation to this matter because we do not own, operate or control sources or the bunker where the sources are stored.

"SGS is the owner and operator of the bunker and sources and solely responsible for addressing this matter."

(Sources: SGS, Reuters)

(Radioactive material image via Shutterstock)

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Weatherford sees Cash-Neutral end to Zubair Project

By John Lee.

In its results for the first quarter of 2015, oil services company Weatherford said it expected "a positive cash outcome on the Zubair project in Iraq as milestones are achieved and continued control of capital expenditures,"

The company added that "reduction in working capital balances and managing a cash neutral end to the Zubair project in Iraq which will contribute enough to more than offset any reduction in earnings."

Bernard J. Duroc-Danner, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer commented:

"Our approach is to treat this down cycle as an opportunity to become a much leaner, more efficient and streamlined organization. Our key focus areas of cost management, cash generation and talent development will pay dividends in improved market share, margins and reduced debt levels by year end."

(Source: Weatherford)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News 5 Comments

GKP Shares Up Following Update

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) were up 4 percent this morning after the company provided an operational and corporate update:

Significant progress has been made since the Field Development Plan ("FDP") for the Shaikan field was approved in June 2013. In July 2013 the Company commenced commercial production, marking Gulf Keystone's transition to an operator with revenue generation. In December 2013 crude oil exports from the Shaikan field commenced.

Shaikan (75% working interest; Operator)

Shaikan Production Update

Gulf Keystone is pleased to announce the commencement of crude oil exports from the Shaikan field.

In line with the Company's marketing strategy, which is being developed in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the first tendered cargo of between 30,000 tonnes (198,300 barrels) and 33,000 tonnes (215,000 barrels) of Shaikan crude was trucked to Turkey in December and will be loading at the port of Dortyol this month.

A second tender is underway for two further cargoes of similar size of Shaikan crude, which are expected to be loaded later this month and during February. Sales realisations are expected to be in accordance with the terms of the Production Sharing Contract for the Shaikan Block ("Shaikan PSC") and will reflect transportation and quality adjustments.

The first Shaikan production facility ("PF-1") is in operation with two wells currently tied to the facility, namely Shaikan-1 and -3. The flowlines from Shaikan-4 to PF-1 are now complete and the well has been worked over as a Jurassic Sargelu producer prior to being tied to PF-1 in early 2014.

Work at the second Shaikan production facility ("PF-2") is nearing completion with electrical and instrumentation work ongoing. The Shaikan-2, -5, and -10 wells have been completed as Jurassic Sargelu producers and the flowlines from these wells to PF-2 are currently being laid.

Current average oil sales from PF-1 stand at between 9,000 and 10,000 barrels per day of export quality crude. The Company will provide an update on well performance and combined production capacity of PF-1 and PF-2 as the additional four wells become operational.

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Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News 3 Comments

Amarinth Wins Further Orders at Zubair

By John Lee.

Amarinth, a leading company specialising in the design, application and manufacture of centrifugal pumps and associated equipment to the Oil & Gas, petrochemical, chemical and industrial markets, has secured a new order in Iraq to supply a further eight API 610 OH2 A-Series pumps to the Zubair Initial Production Facility.

Last year, working with its agent in the region Horizon Development International, Amarinth secured its first business in Iraq to provide twelve API 610 11th edition Super Duplex OH2 A-Series pumps in Super Duplex for the produced water treatment package for the Zubair Initial Production Facility located in Basra in southern Iraq.

Following the successful delivery of those pumps on a short 24 week delivery, US giant oil services company Weatherford International, which holds the oil field facilities contract for Iraq's Zubair oil field, placed a further order for eight pumps to the same specification, on the same 24 week delivery.

This brings the total order value of pumps supplied by Amarinth to the Zubair Initial Production Facility to over $1.5M. Amarinth are also in on-going discussions with Weatherford International to supply more pumps to the same project.

Iraq is proving to be a rapidly expanding market for suppliers to the oil and gas industry and Amarinth has been building quickly on its initial successes. The company has received approved vendor status from both Lukoil (Russia's second largest oil company) and ENI and is progressing opportunities in the region with Iraq’s state owned oil companies South Oil Company and Midland Oil Company.

Oliver Brigginshaw, Managing Director of Amarinth, added:

We are delighted to have secured this further order in Iraq with the help of our agent Horizon Development International. Whilst Iraq still poses many significant challenges, having a good local agent such as Horizon Development International is essential for trading in the country.

"We are currently seeing further significant growth opportunities in the region and the work we have completed to date to establish a foothold in the market, and these new reference sites coming online within Iraq within the next 12 months, will leave us in a strong position to win further business in the region.

(Source: )

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