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Found 28 results

  1. Iran's president says a new oil field in south has been discovered with estimated 50 billion barrels of crude oil. Haven't found more on this yet. Might it affect Iraq's global oil market and prices?
  2. Link: Oil and gas laws: a crux of Erbil-Baghdad tension By Omar Moradi yesterday at 11:14 Iraqi forces drive past an oil production plant as they head towards the city of Kirkuk on October 16, 2017. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye | AFP The lack of oil and gas federal legislation has been the root cause of problems between Erbil and Baghdad since the Iraqi constitution was approved in 2005. Now there is a government in Baghdad that has shown its desire to resolve these problems through dialogue, and the success of the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet depends on whether the oil and gas issue is resolved with Baghdad. According to the constitution, it is the joint responsibility of both the federal and regional government to develop oil and gas resources through a particular oil and gas legislation. But as of yet, no such legislation has been passed, causing disagreements between the two governments. Iraq's parliament unsuccessfully tried to pass a law on oil and gas in 2007. Following that, Kurdish parliament passed its own oil and gas law that same year, allowing the KRG to handle and develop the region’s natural resources. The Kurdistan Region parliament’s oil and gas law gave it complete power over the region’s natural resources, much like an independent and sovereign country. The conditions of the oil market along with the law helped foreign companies invest substantially in the oil and gas sectors in the Kurdistan Region. Investments in Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas sectors reached its peak when oil prices were high pre-2014, surpassing $20 billion. But after oil prices fell in mid-2014, the Kurdistan Region and the rest of the world's oil investors faced a deficit. This shock was especially big in the Kurdistan Region. The federal government in Baghdad cut Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget in 2014, after which a big financial crisis rocked the Kurdistan Region. The impact of the crisis is still seen in the Region's economy. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) still owes money it borrowed during this time. The KRG and federal government should resolve oil and budget problems in order for stability and certainty to return to the economy of the Kurdistan Region - otherwise a big opportunity will be missed. The Iraqi constitution can help in this matter. According to Article 112 of the Iraqi constitution, the running of oilfields in Iraq is the responsibility of both federal and regional governments, or the provinces the oil lies in. According to the oil and gas law of the Kurdistan Region, the KRG and its Ministry of Natural Resources are free to sign contracts with foreign companies that serve the interests of the Kurdistan Region. That is why the KRG signed nearly 50 contracts with oil companies after 2007 which are producing substantial amounts of oil and natural gas. The KRG planned to produce a million barrels of oil per day, but couldn’t do so because of the Islamic State (ISIS) onslaught and falling oil prices after 2014. But because of its robust oil and gas legislation, it still has the ability to produce vast quantities of oil and gas in the coming years. The Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas law shouldn’t be abandoned in negotiations between the KRG and federal government on the issue of oil sales and production. The oil and gas law of the Kurdistan Region allows for the setting up of a box for oil revenues. The law also considers the formation of some national companies for the exploration, production, and marketing of oil in the Kurdistan Region. The establishment of these national companies can reinvigorate the oil sector in the Kurdistan Region. With regards to the sale of oil, the Kurdistan Region can give all or some of the oil it produces to the federal government via national companies and ask for its fair share in return. This will not reduce the Kurdistan Region’s control over its oil sector, as the KRG has its own oil and gas law, is running these sectors in its own way, and has established its own mechanism and infrastructure for the last 10 years.
  3. OPEC deal important for oil market stability: Iraqi PM By Mohammed Rwanduzy 2 hours ago Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addresses reporters during his weekly press conference in Baghdad on July 2, 2019. Photo: Iraqi PMO video ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq’s premier praised the OPEC deal to on Tuesday staying oil production cuts for nine more months because it is important for market stability as Baghdad is so heavily dependent on oil revenue. “This is important for market stability. This topic, for us, the Kingdom and all the producers and exporters of oil is important because budgets depend on oil market stability,” Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi told reporters in his weekly press conference on Tuesday. Members some non-members of the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna this week. Following a prior agreement on Monday between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the cartel agreed to extend production cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for nine more months until March 2020 in a bid to push global prices higher. The agreement was based on the Saudi desires to “face market developments and preserve the measures undertaken”, the PM Abdul-Mahdi revealed, adding that he had a phone call with Saudi King Salman prior to the deal. According to Iraqi Ministry of Oil statistics for the month of June, Iraq’s oil revenue fell from $7.38 billion in May to $6.4 billion in June as its exports fell by 6 percent, from 111 million barrels in May to 105 million barrels in June. Iraq exports around 3.5 million barrels per month — the second highest crude oil producer in OPEC. Iraq has agreements, especially a mega deal with the US giant ExxonMobil, to develop its southern oilfields to increase its production capacity. However, due to a missile that hit the main headquarters of the company in Basra, some foreign staff were evacuated in June. The attack against ExxonMobil came amid soaring US-Iran tensions; Iraq could be negatively impacted if the hostilities breakout between Iran and the US. However, it also raised questions about Iraq’s ability to provide a secure atmosphere in which foreign companies could invest in the decades-deprived oil sector. It has been reported that Iraq could act as Iran’s “ATM” to provide a loophole for US sanctions. Abdul-Mahdi, in his typical understated manner downplayed the incidents against energy and other companies working in Iraq, claiming they do not exceed those in “other countries.” “The security measures are crystal clear. Yes there have been threats, but no real security violation has taken place to any of our oil and non-oil installations. We undertake all measures,” he said. Some ExxonMobil employees have returned, the PM claimed, without elaborating. Separately, the PM also touched on connecting Iraq’s electricity grid to Arab and regional electricity grids — namely Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. “We haven’t concluded this matter. It is still in the discussion stage. There is both a technical and a financial aspect to it. This is not something that [doesn’t entail] certain financial burdens, extending networks, and costs for these units,” the PM said, though adding the discussions are “serious.” “We, as Iraq, have to be connected to [electricity] grids just like the countries of the world,” he emphasized. Iraq does import electricity from Iran, but there needs to be greater interconnection with other regional countries, the PM posited. Iraq’s electricity grid is aging and strained by an increasing population, reconstruction and development. Usage also peaks in the summer months as temperatures in the south soar over 50 Celsius. The hours of government-produced electricity varies greatly across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region by geography. Link:
  4. Kurdistan Oil and gas disputes with Baghdad to be addressed once new KRG cabinet formed Sangar Ali | 8 hours ago Share share An oil field in Nasiriya, in southern Iraq. (Photo: Reuters/Atef Hassan) Kurdistan Iraq Erbil Baghdad Oil Gas A+AA- ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A delegatiom from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will visit Baghdad to discuss disputes over Iraqi oil once the new Kurdish government is formed, a member of parliament in the Iraqi capital said on Wednesday. Oil and gas shares and distribution have been the subject of a long-standing dispute between the KRG and the federal government of Iraq since 2003. Following the formation of the new Iraqi federal government in Oct. 2018, both Erbil and Baghdad agreed on the 2019 national budget bill, which requires the Iraqi government to deliver the salaries of KRG employees along with some financial compensation as the KRG hands over the export of 250,000 oil barrels per day (bpd) to the Iraqi oil marketing company – SOMO. Since the beginning of this year, the Iraqi federal government headed by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has delivered the salaries of the KRG employees on a monthly basis, but the KRG is yet to deliver the prescribed amount of oil to Baghdad as indicated in the Iraqi national budget bill. Over the past few weeks, many Iraqi lawmakers have complained in parliament about the delayed KRG oil transfers, questioning the silence of the Iraqi government in that regard. On Tuesday, Abdul-Mahdi, for the first time, issued a warning to the KRG for failing to meet its commitment in the delivery of oil to Baghdad. The warning came after pressure from multiple factions in the Iraqi parliament. A lawmaker for the largest Kurdish faction in the Iraqi Parliament says that once the new KRG cabinet is formed, which is expected to happen in June, an oil and gas delegation from the KRG will visit Baghdad to hold talks. “Today [Wednesday], we, as a group of Kurdish lawmakers, met with Abdul-Mahdi for a short period to discuss the matter. We couldn’t discuss things in details, but agreed that it would be best for the KRG delegation to visit Baghdad and address the issue,” Aram Balatayi, a member of Iraq’s Oil and Gas Parliamentary Committee, and spokesperson for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) faction in Iraqi Parliament, was quoted as saying on the party’s official website. “The Kurdistan Region has an obligation to hand over the oil to Baghdad,” he continued. “For more than ten years, the Kurdistan Region put effort into and created policies for its oil sector, so it is not easy to now seamlessly hand over the industry to Baghdad. Either the Iraqi government should pay dues of oil companies in the region, or the Kurdistan Region has to sell its oil to pay off those dues. Kurdistan can’t just hand over the oil to Baghdad and Baghdad then refuse to pay the companies.” Balatayi noted that both Erbil and Baghdad could reach an agreement on who would pay the dues and debts of those companies. If it is the KRG, then the Kurdistan Region “has to continue selling its oil,” but should Baghdad decide to absorb those financial obligations, “then this is another subject, and we will have our say at that moment.” The Kurdish lawmaker also noted that Kurds do not have a representative in Iraq’s SOMO and are not sure if they would be given a seat at the table to represent their interests. “There is still an ideology of centralizing power in Baghdad. We have issues with that, and a mechanism should be developed to deal with this,” he added. Gulizar Rashid Sindi, the deputy head of the Kurdistan Region’s Energy and Natural Resource Parliamentary Committee, stated that both the Kurdistan Parliament and the new KRG cabinet should cooperate in this regard. “The Kurdistan Region urges the resolution of the energy question through dialogue and the proper mechanisms,” Sindi told the official KDP website. “The Kurdistan Region will not be bound by Baghdad’s request if it isn't in the interest of the people of Kurdistan.”
  5. Watching movie " Sabrina " Bogart and Hepburn , Bogart mentioned " Iraq and oil deal .... It must be very close for them to mention it 1954 ! 😀. Top that lugigi 😁
  6. Article by Tom DiChristopher CNBCDecember 28, 2016 The U.S. dollar (STOXX: .DXY) has been on a tear that threatens to derail the oil price rally and OPEC's effort to balance an oversupplied crude market, the editor of The Schork Report warned on Wednesday. Dollar strength is being driven by forecasts for stronger economic growth and inflation in the United States than in other developed nations. Oil prices have so far risen along with the dollar following an agreement among producing nations to cut output. But a stronger greenback typically weighs on crude futures because the commodity is priced in the currency. When the dollar rises, crude becomes more expensive to holders of other currencies. "If we do see continued strength in the dollar that will have a double whammy on oil prices," Stephen Schork told CNBC's "Squawk Box." First and foremost, prolonged dollar strength will inevitably crimp demand for crude oil, he explained. Lower demand will make it harder for the OPEC's output cuts to reduce huge stockpiles of crude that built up around the world following a boom in oil production. That boom flooded the world with more oil than could be consumed and cratered crude prices. Low prices boosted demand for crude throughout 2016 in emerging markets, and particularly in China, the world's second biggest oil consumer, said Matt Smith, head of commodities research at ClipperData. Higher prices threaten to substantially curb China's opportunistic buying , he told "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. A stronger dollar will also tempt OPEC members and other producing countries to exceed the oil output limits they set in recent weeks, Schork said. "From a seller standpoint — from an OPEC standpoint — your propensity to cheat and increase production to take advantage of dollar-denominated sales will increase," he said. The OPEC cuts are scheduled to take effect next week. Schork said the market is making some broad-based assumptions about the effort. One of those assumptions is that investors will see something they have never seen before: 100-percent compliance by OPEC members to production cuts. The producer group has a history of cheating on quotas. Even if investors see a high degree of compliance, OPEC production will be higher than it was last year, Schork said. "But if OPEC reverts to being OPEC — that is to say 60 to 70 percent compliance — then OPEC is still going to be producing 700,000 to 800,000 barrels of oil ... more this January than last January," he said. / Dinar4Dinner
  7. And this from a Forbes contributor: This time last month, the famed oil trader—and oil bull—Andy Hall was dealing with a sub-$40 oil market again. And he was again explaining losses to investors in his multi-billion dollar hedge fund. A guy that has made a career, and hundreds of millions of dollar in personal wealth, picking tops and bottoms in oil, had entered 2016 coming off his worst year ever. And 2016 started even worse. I’ve talked about the oil price bust extensively, at the depths of the decline in January and February. While most were glorifying the benefits of a few extra bucks in the pockets of consumers from low gas prices, we walked through the ugly outcome of persistently low oil prices. It would be another global financial crisis, as failing energy companies and defaulting oil producing countries would crush banks, and the dominos would fall from there. Unfortunately, the central banks don’t have the ammunition to pull the world back from the edge of disaster for a second time. With that, central banks stepped in with more easing in the face of the oil price threat, and oil bounced sharply. Hall’s fund bounced sharply too, running up nearly 25% for the year, by the end of June. But he gave a lot of it back by the time July ended. And now, again, oil is closer to $40 than $50. Thanks to a report yesterday, that oil supplies were bigger than expected, the price of crude has fallen 10% since Friday of last week. Hall was the Citigroup C +0.04% oil trader who made billions of dollars for the bank energy trading arm, Phibro, in the early-to mid-2000s. He was one of the first to load up on oil futures in 2002, when oil was sub-$30, on the thesis that a boom in demand was coming from China. He reportedly made $800 million in profits for Citi in 2005 from his original bullish bet. He then made more than $1 billion in 2008 for the bank, as oil prices soared to $147 a barrel and then abruptly crashed. He profited handsomely from both sides, earning a payout from Citi of more than $100 million. ~~~~~~~~~ Let's do this!!! Dinar4Dinner
  8. U.S.-led coalition aircraft destroyed an estimated $11 million worth of oil and trucks over the weekend in the largest single airstrike this year against the Islamic State’s black market oil trade in Syria. “You’re going to have multiple effects from this one strike,” Air Force Lt. Gen, Jeffrey Harrigian, commander in the Middle East, said Tuesday. “We’ll have to see what this does to their ability to generate fighters.” Waves of aircraft destroyed 83 oil tankers sitting in the open in Sunday’s attack. The attacks were ordered after a pilot spotted some vehicles gathering in Deir ez-Zorprovince, a key oil-producing region in Syria controlled by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The coalition command sent a surveillance aircraft over the area. The command then quickly directed A-10 attack planes, F-16s and two coalition aircraft, which together launched more than 80 weapons, including bombing and strafing runs, at the vehicles. After the coalition bombing campaign began two years ago, militants have since learned to avoid concentrating their forces or supplies in the open to avoid airstrikes. “This is a very good indication that they’re having trouble commanding and controlling their forces,” Harrigian told USA TODAY in a telephone interview from his headquarters in Qatar. The strikes follow a similar miscalculation made by the militants in June, when several convoys of fighters and weapons attempted to flee the Iraqi city ofFallujah. Coalition airstrikes killed more than 300 militants and destroyed at least 200 vehicles. Last year, the U.S.-led coalition launched a campaign, called Tidal Wave II, aimed at crippling the Islamic State’s ability to generate revenue from selling black market oil. The campaign is named after a World War II operation to bomb refineries that were fueling the Nazi war machine. Airstrikes aimed at the Islamic State's oil operations have resulted in the destruction of more than 600 oil tanker trucks and other infrastructure. The strike this past weekend was the third largest on oil tanker trucks during the two-year air campaign in Iraq and Syria. The State Department estimated that the Islamic State had generated more than $1 million in oil revenue per day at its peak. In the initial Tidal Wave II strikes last year, the coalition dropped leaflets on oil tankers before launching attacks, encouraging the drivers to flee their vehicles. New military rules don’t require leaflets to be dropped, but pilots fire warning shots, typically consisting of bombs or rockets that are not aimed directly at the convoy. “We’ll do that ... to give them a chance to run,” Harrigian said. Progress, methinks! / D4D
  9. BAGHDAD — The Islamic State, pushed off more than half the Iraqi territory it seized in 2014, has suffered a near collapse in revenue from oil smuggling, officials say, forcing it to cut fighters' pay, levy new taxes, and raise fines for breaking its religious code. The jihadist group has lost control of a series of oil fields and is having to sell its remaining production at steep discounts to persuade truck drivers to collect it and run the gauntlet of US-led airstrikes. Alongside taxes, ransoms, and antiquities trading, oil has been a major fund-raiser for Islamic State operations. At one point it made millions of dollars a month in sales to neighboring Syria and Iran or to makeshift local refineries. But advances by Iraqi government and Kurdish forces plus Shi'ite Muslim militias have left the militant group, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, with partial access to just two of the five Iraqi oil fields it once controlled. This has cut smuggling by at least 90%, according to security and municipal officials. The Islamic State used to sell at least 50 tanker truckloads a day from the Qayara and Najma oil fields, south of the group's Mosul stronghold. This crude was mostly shipped to Syria to barter for automobile fuel, said Mosul provincial councilman Abdul Rahman al-Wagga, who moved to the Kurdish capital Erbil after the fall of Mosul. "Now with Iraqi forces getting closer and stepping up airstrikes, Daesh can hardly sell five small tankers," he said. Gasoline containers at a roadside shop in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq. Getty Images/Anadolu Agency Precise figures on how much Islamic State raises from oil are hard to come by. Luay Al-Khatteeb, the executive director of the Iraq Energy Institute who has done extensive research into the Islamic State's oil smuggling, said revenues fluctuated even during their peak in the second half of 2014 when "on its best days" the group made nearly $700,000 a day from Iraqi fields. In May the US estimated that its revenue had been roughly halved to $250 million a year from the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria. While the militants have suffered further losses since then in Iraq, they still control several oil fields in eastern Syria, where US-backed rebels have had less success in ejecting them. Luring local traders The Islamic State took the Iraqi oil fields, with a total capacity of nearly 60,000 barrels a day, when they swept through the north and west two years ago. This prompted the airstrikes from the US-led coalition that have targeted financial infrastructure as well as fighters and leaders. The group has been losing production for some time. Kurdish peshmerga forces took the Ain Zala oil field, northwest of Mosul, in late 2014. Khatteeb's estimates are at the conservative end of the range. Security officials and an oil ministry adviser say the Islamic State's revenue fell by $1 million a day in April 2015 alone when it lost the Ajil and Himreen oil fields near the city of Tikrit, which lies about 95 miles north of Baghdad. Reuters Now Iraqi forces pushing toward Mosul for a planned year-end offensive are close enough to Qayara and Najma fields, about 40 miles south of the city, to reduce their operations substantially, security and local officials said. The danger smugglers face from coalition airstrikes to collect the oil has forced the Islamic State to slash prices. "Daesh is luring local traders in Mosul to buy its crude from Qayara and Najma by cutting the price from $6,000 per tanker to just $2,000," Wagga said. An oil-ministry spokesman said the militants had been using primitive mechanisms such as water-irrigation pumps to extract oil from these fields. Most of Iraq's oil fields, which provide nearly all government revenues, are in the south, far from Islamic State areas of control. Combating smuggling Qayara and Najma were once operated by the Angolan state energy group Sonangol, which pulled out in 2013 because of rising development costs and security concerns. Qayara, with estimated reserves of 800 million barrels, had been producing 7,000 barrels a day of heavy crude before Islamic State seized the field and a nearby refinery with a 16,000-barrel-a-day capacity. The refinery and a smaller plant at Kasak, northwest of Mosul, stopped operating when employees fled the takeover. Najma, mainly a gas field, used to produce around 5,000 barrels a day. A member of Iraqi counterterrorism forces in Fallujah. Thomson Reuters Advances this month have helped Iraqi forces to control Qayara air base, which they will use for an assault on Mosul that could start within months. The gains include nearby areas adjacent to the Qayara and Najma fields. "We have destroyed almost all facilities and storage depots used by Daesh to smuggle oil in areas near Mosul," said Sabah al-Numan, the spokesman for Iraq's counterterrorism service, which led the latest advances. "We obtained all the coordinates from the Oil Ministry, and airstrikes have pursued every single oil-smuggling truck," he said, estimating that the bombardment had helped to cut smuggling by 95%. Pay cuts, shaving fines The loss of oil revenues has forced the militants to cut salaries by a third, said Muthana Jbara, a senior security official in Salahuddin province, where Ajil and Himreen are located, citing sources in Islamic State-held areas. They have also imposed more taxes on farmers, truckers, and traders and increased fines for minor violations of religious bans on smoking and shaving beards, he said. Abu Abdulla, a Mosul-based shipper, said most traders stopped buying crude from the Islamic State after hundreds of trucks were destroyed by airstrikes over the past six months or so. "At least 100 drivers were killed trying to smuggle crude into Syria. Drivers are refusing to go because the smuggling route between Mosul and Syria has became a death trap," Abu Abdulla told Reuters in an internet call. Smoke rising after airstrikes from the US-led coalition against Islamic State militants in a village east of Mosul on May 29. Reuters/Azad Lashkari The US-led coalition intensified its targeting of tanker trucks in the past year after previously avoiding such strikes for fear of killing drivers who were not clearly militants. Abu Abdulla and four other traders and truck drivers said the trip back and forth to Syria became more difficult after Iraqi Kurdish forces retook Sinjar in November, forcing them to take a road south of Mosul to the Syrian border. Drivers tried to evade airstrikes by painting "drinking water" on the side of their tankers, but without success, Abu Abdulla said. "It's an open desert road that leaves us easily targeted by airstrikes," a driver who gave his name only as Muamar said. "I saw my brother get killed by an airstrike while sitting inside his truck. Other trucks were blown up like in a video game."
  10. I feel this important news topic Ratings agency also downgrades Gulf oil producers Bahrain and Oman, but leaves Kuwait and Qatar unchanged : Saudi Arabia’s credit rating has been downgraded by Moody’s because of the long and deep slump in oil prices. “A combination of lower growth, higher debt levels and smaller domestic and external buffers leave the Kingdom less well positioned to weather future shocks,” Moody’s said in a note. Moody’s lowered Oman to Baa1 from A3 and Bahrain to Ba2 from Ba1. The ratings agency did not downgrade Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates or Abu Dhabi, but it assigned a negative outlook to each. While understand no links and not posting entire article due to copyright, this can be found on The Guardian with a search of the title.
  11. Over the last two weeks, Russia has been destroying the “living pipeline” that has allowed Turkey to steal tens of millions of barrels of Syrian crude oil, much of it at peak market prices, while only paying their ISIS allies a pittance. This process isn’t new. Turkey did this all during the Bush era, having cut a deal with US “manager” Paul Bremmer, a deal VT insiders helped manage for Bremmer and that I was witness to personally. The game involved playing [baghdad, Iraq] against [E(I)rbil, Iraq In The Kurdistan Region] and bleeding off oil revenues from the Kirkuk Oil Fields, largest oil reserves in the world, as they moved by pipeline through Kurdistan and into Turkey. PoliticalVel Craft
  12. ABU DHABI (Bloomberg) -- International oil companies submitted proposals to Iraq to change their production contracts in the face of constraints on growth in the country’s output next year after the oil ministry asked for spending cuts amid low crude prices, according to BP Plc. The companies have submitted proposals to the government about how the country could change their contracts from service agreements to a model closer to production sharing agreements, Michael Townshend, the company’s regional president for the Middle East, told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Companies are now paid a fee, either in cash or with oil barrels, based on meeting output targets, while production sharing agreements give companies a direct stake in crude pumped. BP operates Rumaila, Iraq’s largest deposit. Production from the southern field will average between 1.3 MMbopd and 1.35 MMbopd this year, while output next year depends on spending approved by the government, which has asked foreign companies to decrease their 2016 budgets due to the drop in crude prices, Townshend said. Total capital expenditure on the field will be about $2.5 billion this year, with BP responsible for about half of that, he said. “It’s difficult to see a massive ramp up next year” in Iraqi crude production, Townshend said. Talks about a budget for next year at the Rumaila oil field are “a work in progress.” The slump in global crude prices by more than 40% in the past year has cut the Iraqi government’s income as it battles Islamic extremists that have seized parts of the country. That risks sidetracking Iraq’s efforts, after decades of conflict and sanctions that choked investment, to boost production with the help of international companies. 2016 Budgets The government sees opportunity to reach agreement with foreign oil companies on plans to decrease their 2016 budgets, Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Oct. 28 in Amarah, Iraq. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, pumped 4.3 MMbopd in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The country pumped about 2.4 MMbopd by the end of 2010 and plans to boost capacity to 6 MMbopd in 2018. BP has been taking both Iraq’s Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy crude grades produced at its southern fields, Townshend said. The heavy grade is lower quality and harder to refine. “It’s less easy to place in the market,” Townshend said. “It tends to be in the Far East but that’s fairly saturated so it does run at quite a substantial discount.”
  13. I would really appreciate some feed back from the members here on this article -- Your breakdown in layman's terms of what is stated and then your educated opinion - What does it all mean exactly and what "could" happen -- I know it is a lot to read - but how else are you going to ever know anything if you don't read??? Thanks in advance for those that are willing to read and comment -- UNEEK THE RESET HAS ALREADY BEGUN! Author : Bill Holter Published: January 19th, 2015 For several years there has been talk of a financial and economic “re set” coming, this is no longer speculation as the reset has already begun! The Swiss have suppressed the price of their currency, the franc, since late 2011. They pegged the franc versus the euro with a “floor” versus the euro at 1.20. After confirming this floor publicly on Monday, they abandoned it Thursday only to see the euro depreciate through the par level. What you saw on Thursday and Friday was the work of Mother Nature as the Swiss decided they would be better served by no longer battling her. The ramifications of this move by the Swiss are almost infinite when you consider the chain reactions they have now started. Several large FOREX firms including the largest retail firm in the U.S., FXCM, were rendered bankrupt overnight. Even Goldman Sachs and Citi admitted to being offside and sustained large losses. As of right now, we have no idea who “won” and who “lost”, nor do we know “how much?” We heard almost nothing from Swiss or European banks on Friday, “who what and how much?” will begin to surface this coming week. As I have written for years now, if the loser goes bankrupt, the winner does not get paid…thus turning the winner into a loser. This is a very big problem the markets ignored on Friday but will not be able to ignore as the dead bodies begin to surface. Think about this point very seriously, many investors (and firms) went to bed Wednesday evening with no stress at all on their portfolios (or their business), in just five minutes Thursday morning they were insolvent. Just FIVE MINUTES! We are only talking about “investments” here, how many other real businesses in the import and export area are now broke? Broke because they hold euros but need francs or they export from Switzerland or import to Europe and now their business model makes no sense? How is this even possible in just five minutes time? Another aspect to what and how the Swiss moved on Thursday is that of “central banks” themselves. Did the Swiss not know they were going to float the franc on Monday when they confirmed the peg publicly? Did they or did they not inform the IMF prior their actions? What about the BIS which is headquartered within their borders in Basel, surely they tipped them off? Christine LaGarde claimed in an interview with CNBC that she had no prior notice, really? If this is true then it shows the Swiss central bank has moved in an “every man for himself” type of action. It also shows the “united front” of central banks is not so “united” anymore! If Ms. LaGarde is not telling the truth and in fact the IMF did have prior knowledge, what would this mean? It would mean the central banks are finally losing control of the rig. It would also mean the central banks have distorted currencies, interest rates etc. so badly that once Mother Nature takes over, we can expect repeat performances all over the world and amongst all assets and currencies. How can I say this? I would simply ask if it is “normal” for two trading currencies to revalue 30% in five minutes or if it is not normal, what was the cause? We of course know, the cause was the actions of the ECB and SNB over these last three+ years. We have already speculated the Swiss made this move for one of two reasons. First, they may have decided the amount of euros necessary to purchase (and thus the amount of francs created) will go exponential this coming week when the ECB goes full on QE (printing). We also know that euros already make up more than half of their balance sheet. The other possibility is they know the Greek election is coming up, (the Greek banks are already experiencing bank runs) and they see the very real possibility of the Eurozone fracturing or even dissolving. Another possibility is maybe they just decided “their first loss is their best loss”? Maybe they have watched as the core of Europe has asked for their gold back and understand that “trust” amongst central bankers is waning? Maybe they simply decided to front run the obvious and necessary re set and do it on their own terms? It is very hard to say what exactly the motivation was, the important thing to understand is their action has started a re set in motion which will not be stopped! In plain English, the Swiss just yelled FIRE …while standing in the exit! I have several other questions but first I want to point out the obvious. Oil was cut in more than half in dollars over 6 months, could you say the price of oil was “re set”? How about copper? How about other foreign currencies? Could the huge moves in so many assets qualify as being “re set”? The collapse in oil and copper prices are black swans pointing to a rapidly slowing global economy. The Swiss removing their currency peg is another black swan event and in reaction to the ECB moving toward hyperinflating their currency. My biggest question now is this, what will happen when China allows their currency to float? The Swiss are one thing, China is whole different story! Think of the ramifications when it comes to trade? Another, maybe even more important question is what will happen when the Chinese “force” the price of gold and silver to trade freely? Let me explain this further. The Chinese know full well that gold IS money, otherwise they would not have spent the last several years buying almost every single ounce that came from the ground. They know it is artificially priced by New York and London. They can “float” gold in several manners. First, they can simply bust the COMEX and LBMA by bidding for and purchasing both their entire inventories within a 24 hour window. Another possibility would be to simply put out a “global bid” and state some price (much higher than current) they are willing to buy any and all gold, presto, COMEX and LBMA would be busted without them doing it directly! I recently wrote of a “Global Margin Call” where because oil and other assets, currencies, etc. have moved so rapidly, many derivatives traders have surely been thrown “offside”. This move by the Swiss is nothing different except it was done “officially”. Actually, the funny thing is they moved to suspend what they were “officially” (and artificially!) doing. The move by the Swiss has only made the global margin call that much bigger! The global re set which was already in the works is now publicly and officially happening before your very eyes. You can close your eyes or not believe this fact, it will not make it go away, nor will it insulate you financially from what is coming. To finish, and I plan to follow up maybe even tomorrow, the most important re set will be that of gold and silver prices. I say “most important” because these are the only “tools” available to you as an individual to protect your wealth. If the Swiss franc and the euro can change in value by 30% within five minutes, what do you think the revaluation of gold and silver will be when the 100 ounces of “paper metal” come looking for the real thing? At what price will the market clear? Add a zero? Two zero’s? Please understand this, when the margin call is issued worldwide, there is only one money where the call will work in reverse, precious metals. The “call” will be for real, yet non existent metal. Gold had already sniffed this margin call and re set out a couple of months ago. No matter how much paper was thrown at it, it simply stopped going down. Even while the dollar strengthened synthetically, gold went higher versus the dollar. Gold has clearly been THE best money, what do you think will happen to real metal when it turns out that 99% of the supposed global supply is proven as counterfeit? We will soon witness the greatest margin call in all of history. We will also witness the greatest transfer of wealth and re set in all of history! My only question is whether what so far has been “rolling re sets” becomes an official market/bank/finance closure and announced …or, do the markets continue to trade and force re sets in market after market. As an additional note, we have one last question to ponder which may or may not be connected. Koos Jansen put forth a “mystery guest’s” theory that the Swiss went short gold in Sept. 2011 which marked the top in gold. He asks in the following link, “did Switzerland just cover their short“? I believe there may be some credence to this theory but would go one step further. Zerohedge asks the question and speculates Japan may be the next “Switzerland” and pull the plug on Abenomics. Personally I see it a little differently, more importantly, what if the Chinese were to react to the coming QE4 by doing two things? What if China just walked away and sold their dollar holdings …and at the same time revoked their current peg of the yuan to the dollar? Will China some day ratio back their yuan with gold? I think this is likely. Would the dollar collapse 30% like the euro just did versus the franc or will the re set be much larger? Of course the next question would be “how high would gold be marked up”? An unpegging of the yuan by China would be more important and (current) system ending than nearly anything else I can imagine. For China to break their peg, the paper short positions in gold and silver would finally be exposed for what they are, counterfeits! Regards, Bill Holter BILL HOLTER, Associate Writer, Miles Franklin Precious Metal Specialists Website: Prior to joining Miles Franklin in 2012, Bill Holter Worked as a retail stockbroker for 23 years, including 12 as a branch manager at A.G. Edwards. Later, he left Wall Street to avoid potential liabilities related to management of paper assets. In 2006 he retired and moved to Costa Rica where he lived until 2011 when he moved back to the United States. Bill was a well-known contributor to the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA)
  14. Iraqi parliament session Backstage disagreements budget: the Kurdish militant eliminates the rule of law is a .. and last robs Arbil extra quantities of oil Author: Editor: 01/30/2015 22:17 Number of Views: 451 Range / Baghdad In putting the final touches on the budget of 2015 between the Kurdish and Shiite forces session, broke the dispute between the parties on the effect of adding "state law" a new statement about the bind Kurdistan export of specific oil amount "can not be neutral about under any circumstances," but representatives of Arbil, refused to do so, saying, that a lot of military and technical conditions prevent them from adhering to the "literal" under this phrase, demanding format provides for the obligation to export "rate agreed upon", which is to resolve the situation later. On the other hand did not remain silent, "state law" who was forced to show flexibility in the end, like the rest of the blocks, he returned again to vote on the budget session, on Thursday, to impede the point was to insist upon "Kurds", states that Arbil, if it can export the amount of oil is greater than the agreed Accordingly, the revenues will be calculated for the liquidation of old debts with the center and to compensate Kurdistan's share of the budget in 2014, which the Kurds had not received them little or nothing. And passed the House of Representatives, last Thursday, the financial budget for the current year 2015, B119 trillion Iraqi dinars and a deficit of 25 trillion dinars, with House Speaker Salim al-Jubouri confirmed it the first time that adoption of the budget is during the first month of the year, and described as "achievement". And the scenes of the final moments before the start of the House of Representatives to vote on the budget, which quoted the facts straight, says Kurdish MP and member of the Economic Commission Najiba Najib "The only dispute was between the National Alliance and the forces of Kurdistan is the insistence of the state law on the addition of the words in a new item on the obliging Kurdistan to export 550 000 barrels per day including Al300alv barrels of Kirkuk, which passes through a separate tube Kurdish after control (Daash) on the previous tube that was passing in Mosul and then to Ceyhan, that recognizes the full amount to the Company (SOMO) and said he was no room for reduced under any circumstances. " . She says Najib told the "term" that "the new phrase added by the rule of law was a surprise, and insisted that the province exported this amount on a daily basis, and that increases turn in the amount of oil exports Shall and if any to SOMO too," noting that the "Kurds protested on this point, because of the difficulty that ensures the province export this amount is literally on a daily basis, because there are many factors that may prevent the provision of such quantity of art." In Alnhih- according Naguib- approved "state law" to waive this point, because of the insistence of the Kurds, and has become the formula "to be exporting at a rate of 550 000 barrels per day." And indicates the first quarter of the budget law under "Revenue", first paragraph ( : calculating the revenues derived from the export of crude oil based on the average price of $ 56 per barrel dollars, and the rate of export of (3.3 million) barrels per day, including (250 000 ) on the quantities of crude oil produced in the province of Kurdistan and (300 000) barrels per day on the quantities of crude oil produced from the frameworks Ik province of Kirkuk, and that all Erdat actually finally realized revenue of the public treasury of the state to account Kurdish MP believes that "some parties concede the Shiite bloc because of their desire, as other blocs, to pass the budget." The relay Najib said the "Kurds also waived for one passage, to pass the budget, it has refused to state law and the others vote on Article 56, which they say that the increases in oil exports from the Kurdistan region to go to settle the previous financial issues between Baghdad and Erbil after it is calculated and audited by Diwani financial control in the center and the region, and it became in the end, that those excess quantities turn out to be (SOMO) as well. " Najib and concludes that "everybody came out satisfied, we won and we lost a point, and the Shiite alliance as well, but we gained a total, balanced rights and we passed the budget." He praised the National Alliance, after the vote on the budget, by adopting, returned to him "a great achievement" is calculated for the House and the Finance Committee, called on the government to complete negotiations with Irbil on oil exported from the region, also confirmed that the budget included a lot of positives the most important support for the popular crowd and cut costs and support for "the poor and the Holy" provinces.
  15. I have been doing a lot of reading on China, and Ebola but had not connected any dots -- I think there are some dots now to connect -- This is very interesting - Add Russia , Gold, US , Iraq, and a few other players and we have a major Monopoly Game ongoing !! Cultural, Economics Ebola and West Africa’s Offshore Oil September 16, 2014 A New Front in the Proxy Resource Wars By JC Collins The movement of troops, especially American troops, is the dead giveaway to any broader game plan which is intended to be hidden within the structure of propaganda and media campaigns. So it is with muted surprise that we hear the news of the United States sending 3,000 troops to help fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. As reported in the New York Times yesterday: Under pressure to do more to confront the Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, President Obama on Tuesday is to announce an expansion of military and medical resources to combat the spread of the deadly virus, administration officials said. What isn’t reported in the article is that 1/3rd of all new oil discoveries have taken place in West Africa. As reported by Business Day back in May: West Africa Region accounts for a third of the world’s new oil discoveries, especially in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta basin and the Gulf of Guinea. According to the US Geological Survey, the West African Coastal Province has an estimated 3 200 million barrels of oil. Oil exploration off the coast of West Africa has surged since 2007 when Tullow Oil found the Jubilee field in Ghana, one of the continent’s biggest recent finds. New finds have been made in Liberia and Sierra Leone, while Mauritania’s discoveries over the last decade remain to be replicated. Niger has now become a producer and Mali awaits discovery of commercial hydrocarbons. There has also been a burst of exploration activity in the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gabon with the hope of finding Jubilee-type giants in the Cretaceous fan formations and pre-salt structures. In Guinea, Tullow is undertaking a seismic survey looking at a potential reserve of 10 billion barrels of oil, and Simba is exploring for oil in Guinea, Ghana, Mali, and Liberia. Cote d’Ivoire has been through a number of political changes and a civil war but Lukoil are on the verge of investing about $400-million in exploration activities in a prospect there. Considering the resource proxy wars which are taking place in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, are we to think that the large offshore oil fields in Western Africa are not subjected to the same proxy strategy? But it gets even more interesting. From the same Business Day article: Now, the attention is shifting to East Africa. Recent discoveries in Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have turned the focus on the region. Massive investments have followed the discoveries in the region too. In 2012, more than 50 exploration wells were completed in East Africa, which is more than half of conventional oil and gas resources found worldwide. And here from a Policy Paper published in 2012 from the Center for Chinese Studies titled “China’s role in the East African oil and gas sector: a new model of engagement?” we learn of how China is actively and strategically setting itself up for control of the oil and gas in Eastern Africa. And to add even further credence to the importance of African resources, here is another publication, Middle Africa Briefing Note on Energy, this time by Ecobank, the Pan African Bank, titled “Exploration in West Africa’s Frontier Could Unlock 9 Billion Barrels in 2014″. Right out of the gate the policy paper states the following: Oil and Gas independent companies have spent US$200 million over the past 4 years acquiring assets in some of West Africa’s less explored countries, notably, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia. So lets take a look at a map of the offshore oil discoveries in West Africa. Here is a map from the USGS: And here is a map of the Ebola outbreak from the same region. This map is provided by USAID and the CDC: You can literally superimpose one map over the other and conclude that the mobilization of 3000 American troops to West Africa has more to do with securing the offshore oil resources than it does the Ebola outbreak. But like all great plans and strategies there are multiple moves at work here. There is a very high probability supported with strong evidence, that the Ebola virus was manufactured and dispersed intentionally. As covered in the previous post Global Pandemic and Quarantine, the Ebola outbreak is offering a very convenient pretext for shutting down global equity markets and invoking a subtle form of martial law across the spectrum of western and eastern countries. This would obviously facilitate the transition to the multilateral financial system while offering a reason to the disorganized masses for the failure of the old and the need for the new. Any forward action on these fronts well likely be a slow burn as opposed to fast jumping movements. The economic transition in essence started back in 2008 and has been progressing as a very slow pace. This will continue until 2018. The Ebola outbreak, for its part, offers the same slow burn approach as the economic policy and institutional changes which are taking place. There are seldom coincidences of this calibre which take place on such a global scale. The resource proxy wars continue in Ukraine and Iraq, and now we can recognize the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa as another front in the same war. What will be interesting down the road is what will happen when the US controlled West African fields and the China controlled East African fields eventually meet in Middle Africa. What proxy war structure can be established in the region at that time? Perhaps the North Africa country of Libya is more strategic than first realized. – JC
  16. ISIS in Iraq stinks of CIA/NATO ‘dirty war’ op William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. Get short URL Published time: June 24, 2014 10:22 Iraqi Kurdish forces take position near Taza Khormato as they fight jihadist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positioned five kilometers away in Bashir, 20 kms south of Kirkuk (AFP Photo / Karim Sahib) 9.7K83175 Tags Intelligence, Iraq, Syria, Terrorism, USA For days now, since their dramatic June 10 taking of Mosul, Western mainstream media have been filled with horror stories of the military conquests in Iraq of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, with the curious acronym ISIS. ISIS, as in the ancient Egyptian cult of the goddess of fertility and magic. The media picture being presented adds up less and less. Details leaking out suggest that ISIS and the major military ‘surge’ in Iraq - and less so in neighboring Syria - is being shaped and controlled out of Langley, Virginia, and other CIA and Pentagon outposts as the next stage in spreading chaos in the world’s second-largest oil state, Iraq, as well as weakening the recent Syrian stabilization efforts. Strange factsThe very details of the ISIS military success in the key Iraqi oil center, Mosul, are suspect. According to well-informed Iraqi journalists, ISIS overran the strategic Mosul region, site of some of the world’s most prolific oilfields, with barely a shot fired in resistance. According to one report, residents of Tikrit reported remarkable displays of “soldiers handing over their weapons and uniforms peacefully to militants who ordinarily would have been expected to kill government soldiers on the spot.” We are told that ISIS masked psychopaths captured “arms and ammunition from the fleeing security forces” - arms and ammunition supplied by the American government. The offensive coincides with a successful campaign by ISIS in eastern Syria. According to Iraqi journalists, Sunni tribal chiefs in the region had been convinced to side with ISIS against the Shiite Al-Maliki government in Baghdad. They were promised a better deal under ISIS Sunni Sharia than with Baghdad anti-Sunni rule. According to the New York Times, the mastermind behind the ISIS military success is former Baath Party head and Saddam Hussein successor, General Ibrahim al-Douri. Douri is reportedly the head of the Iraqi rebel group Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order as well as the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation based on his longstanding positions of leadership in the Naqshbandi sect in Iraq. In 2009, US ‘Iraqi surge’ General David Petraeus, at the time heading the US Central Command, claimed to reporters that Douri was in Syria. Iraqi parliamentarians claimed he was in Qatar. The curious fact is that despite being on the US most wanted list since 2003, Douri has miraculously managed to avoid capture and now to return with a vengeance to retake huge parts of Sunni Iraq. Luck or well-placed friends in Washington? The financial backing for ISIS jihadists reportedly also comes from three of the closest US allies in the Sunni world—Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. US passports?Key members of ISIS it now emerges were trained by US CIA and Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, according to informed Jordanian officials. The US, Turkish and Jordanian intelligence were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region, conveniently near the borders to both Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the two Gulf monarchies most involved in funding the war against Syria’s Assad, financed the Jordan ISIS training. Advertised publicly as training of ‘non-extremist’ Muslim jihadists to wage war against the Syrian Bashar Assad regime, the secret US training camps in Jordan and elsewhere have trained perhaps several thousand Muslim fighters in techniques of irregular warfare, sabotage and general terror. The claims by Washington that they took special care not to train ‘Salafist’ or jihadist extremists, is a joke. How do you test if a recruit is not a jihadist? Is there a special jihad DNA that the CIA doctors have discovered? Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) parading with an Iraqi army vehicle in the northern city of Baiji in the in Salaheddin province. (AFP Photo / HO / Youtube) Jordanian government officials are revealing the details, in fear that the same ISIS terrorists that today are slashing heads of ‘infidels’ alongside the roadways of Mosul by the dozens, or hundreds if we believe their own propaganda, might turn their swords towards Jordan’s King Abdullah soon, to extend their budding Caliphate empire. Former US State Department official Andrew Doran wrote in the conservative National Review magazine that some ISIS warriors also hold US passports. Now, of course that doesn’t demonstrate and support by the Obama Administration. Hmm... Iranian journalist Sabah Zanganeh notes, "ISIS did not have the power to occupy and conquer Mosul by itself. What has happened is the result of security-intelligence collaborations of some regional countries with some extremist groups inside the Iraqi government." Iraq’s Chechen commanderThe next bizarre part of the ISIS puzzle involves the Jihadist credited with being the ‘military mastermind’ of the recent ISIS victories, Tarkhan Batirashvili. If his name doesn’t sound very Arabic, it’s because it’s not. Tarkhan Batrashvili is a Russian - actually an ethnic Chechen from near the Chechen border to Georgia. But to give himself a more Arabic flair, he also goes by the name Emir (what else?) Umar al Shishani. The problem is he doesn’t look at all Arabic. No dark swarthy black beard: rather a long red beard, a kind of Chechen Barbarossa. According to a November, 2013 report in The Wall Street Journal, Emir Umar or Batrashvili as you prefer, has made the wars in Syria and Iraq “into a geopolitical struggle between the US and Russia.” That has been the objective of leading neo-conservatives in the CIA, Pentagon and State Department all along. The CIA transported hundreds of Mujahideen Saudis and other foreign veterans of the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets in Afghanistan into Chechnya to disrupt the struggling Russia in the early 1990s, particularly to sabotage the Russian oil pipeline running directly from Baku on the Caspian Sea into Russia. James Baker III and his friends in Anglo-American Big Oil had other plans. It was called the BTC pipeline, owned by a BP-US oil consortium and running through Tbilisi into NATO-member Turkey, free of Russian territory. Batrashvili is not renowned for taking care. Last year he was forced to apologize when he ordered his men to behead a wounded ‘enemy’ soldier who turned out to be an allied rebel commander. More than 8,000 foreign Jihadist mercenaries are reportedly in ISIS including at least 1,000 Chechens as well as Jihadists Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt and reportedly Chinese Uyghur from Xinjiang Province. Jeffrey Silverman, Georgia Bureau Chief for the US-based Veterans Today (VT) website, told me that Batrashvili “is a product of a joint program of the US through a front NGO called Jvari, which was set up by US Intelligence and the Georgian National Security Council, dating back to the early days of the Pankisi Gorge.” Jvari is the name as well of a famous Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century. According to Silverman, David J. Smith—head of something in Tbilisi called the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, as well as the Potomac Institute in Washington where he is listed as Director of the Potomac Institute Cyber Centerr—played a role in setting up the Jvari NGO. Silverman maintains that Jvari in Rustavi, near the capital, Tbilisi, gathered together Afghan Mujahideen war veterans, Chechens, Georgians and sundry Arab Jihadists. They were sent to the infamous Pankisi Gorge region, a kind-of no-man’s lawless area, for later deployment, including Iraq and Syria. Batrashvili and other Georgian and Chechen Russian-speaking Jihadists, Silverman notes, are typically smuggled, with the assistance of Georgia’s Counterintelligence Department and the approval of the US embassy, across the Georgia border to Turkey at the Vale crossing point, near Georgia’s Akhaltsikhe and the Turkish village of Türkgözü on the Turkish side of the Georgian border. From there it’s very little problem getting them through Turkey to either Mosul in Iraq or northeast Syria. Silverman believes that events in Northern Iraq relate to “wanting to have a Kurdish Republic separate from the Central government and this is all part of the New Great Game. It will serve US interests in both Turkey and Iraq, not to mention Syria.” Very revealing is the fact that almost two weeks after the dramatic fall of Mosul and the ‘capture’ by ISIS forces of the huge weapons and military vehicle resources provided by the US to the Iraqi army. Washington has done virtually nothing but make a few silly speeches about their ‘concern’ and dispatch 275 US special forces to allegedly protect US personnel in Iraq. Whatever the final details that emerge, what is clear in the days since the fall of Mosul is that some of the world’s largest oilfields in Iraq are suddenly held by Jihadists and no longer by an Iraqi government determined to increase the oil export significantly. More on this aspect in an upcoming article. More links:
  17. BAGHDAD (AP) — A senior Iraqi official says daily oil exports have shot up in February to 2.8 million barrels from nearly 2.3 million barrels in the previous month, thanks to a small group of international oil companies developing oil fields and export infrastructure. Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for energy, Hussain al-Shahristani, also said Saturday in the southern oil-rich city of Basra that average production, including the exports, exceeded 3.5 million barrels per day last month. Al-Shahristani described the figures as "unprecedented." Iraq's daily oil production and exports have climbed steadily since 2011, nearly two years after Iraq awarded rights to develop its major oil fields to international oil companies. It holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, some 143.1 billion barrels, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget. Source:
  18. Greetings, The Price of Oil and Gasto head downward by 2020? Iraq, Iran Plot Oil Revolution, Challenge Saudi Posted on 29 January 2014 Iraq and Iran, which together hold more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, are planning to challenge Saudi Arabia's grip on OPEC and its status as the "swing producer" in the cartel, according to a report from The Telegraph. With Iraq poised to triple its capacity to 9 million bpd by 2020, the result could be a dramatic fall in oil prices. Hussain al-Shahristani, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, said: "We feel the world needs to be assured of fuel for economic growth ... It's very difficult to predict actual world (oil) demand by 2020 because the world economy is unpredictable ... Iran has been in touch with us; they want to share our contracts model and experience."
  19. TAQA holds 39,9%, Shamaran 20,1% and Marathon 15%, KRG has 25% of the field. Abu Dhabi's TAQA to invest $1.2bn in Kurdistan oil field By Reuters Monday, 20 January 2014 7:25 PM Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) plans to invest about $1.2 billion developing the Atrush oil and gas block in the autonomous Kurdistan region, the head of Taqa's Iraq operations said on Monday. Taqa, which is majority owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, won approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to develop the block in late 2013. It expects to invest more than $300 million in the first phase of the project, with first oil from the 30,000 barrel per day (bpd) first phase expected in early 2015. Subject to KRG approval and further field appraisals, a second phase could add 30,000 bpd of oil production, along with some associated gas for the domestic market. "Iraq is very much core to Taqa," Leo Koot told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi. "The investment in the next three phases will be similar to the first phase and production should be around 100,000 to 120,000 bpd of oil in four years," he said. Deals between foreign investors and the KRG to develop oilfields have angered the federal government in Baghdad, which rejects them as illegal. Abu Dhabi's former state utility is expanding a power plant in Kurdistan, which should be completed in mid-2015, but it also hopes to build gas-fired power plants in southern Iraq to help Baghdad to overcome power shortages. "We've had good discussions with the Iraqi government," Koot said, declining to go into details about the plant talks.
  20. Ministry of Natural Resources Announcement on Oil Export Sales Erbi, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - The KRG Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) gives public notice of the commencement of the sale of its first shipment of crude oil exported via Kurdistan Region’s new pipeline through Turkey to the Port of Ceyhan. MNR anticipates the sale of the first parcel of two million barrels of exported crude oil to occur at the end of January 2014. Thereafter, monthly parcels will increase to 4 million barrels by the end of February and 6 million by the end of March, then steadily stepping up to 10-12 million barrels for the month of December 2014. At the beginning of this month, some initial quantities of crude oil produced from the Tawke field began flowing through Kurdistan’s new pipeline system to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, and crude oil from Taq-Taq and other producing fields will soon be added to the export system, resulting in a blended medium crude oil quality of 30 to 32 Degrees API. Prospective buyers can lift the crude oil shipments in the port of Ceyhan under similar arrangements as those used for SOMO (the State Oil Marketing Organisation) for oil export from Kirkuk. Details of each parcel will be published by MNR in due course. All tenders will be competitive and based on international pricing. In order to ensure full transparency of the sales and contracting process, independent observers will be invited to each tender, together with representatives of the oil companies that have produced the exported oil. MNR also invites representatives of SOMO to join the process as observers. At this stage, MNR is inviting reputable and financially capable companies to register with MNR their interest in participating in the January tender or any of the future tenders. All applicants should in the first instance write to the Ministry of Natural Resources with information about their company profile, track record and financial status via email All submissions should be addressed to: KOMO - Kurdistan Oil Marketing Organization, Ministry of Natural Resources, Council of Ministers, Kurdistan Regional Government, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq Read more at
  21. Credit Suisse (a leading global financial services company headquartered in Zurich.) has upgraded Genel Energy as a result of what it described as "irreversible progress" towards achieving large scale oil exports via Turkey. Believing that the Iraqi Kurdistan oil play is now lower risk, analyst Thomas Adolff says that progress has been very impressive since 2011 and "we treat recent events - the signing of the energy agreement with Turkey last week - as irreversible progress ... We believe Genel could be the bright-spot again in the UK E&P space in 2014."
  22. Here is an article that demonstrates what lost oil production costs are, and how disruption of oil production can affect a country and it's government's budget. Interesting ... Libya lost $7 billion to oil strikes, must find new buyers 12/07/2013 TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya has lost more than $7 billion and faces new competition from Algeria and Nigeria in oil markets due to strikes at oilfields and ports drying up exports, Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said on Saturday. A mix of militias, tribesmen and civil servants have seized most oil ports and fields to demand more political power or higher pay, throttling Libya's oil export lifeline. The OPEC producer is facing turmoil as Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's government struggles to control dozens of former militias which helped oust Muammar Gaddafi two years ago but which have refused to give up their arms. Arusi said Libya had lost 9 billion Libyan dinars ($7.29 billion) in oil revenues after output had fallen to 250,000 barrels a day from 1.4 million bpd in July. He did not say how much Libya is exporting, but his deputy told Reuters last week that up to 50 percent of output was being used to keep the 120,000 bpd Zawiya refinery running. "We are facing a big problem because oil from Algeria and oil from Nigeria has entered the Mediterranean (market)," Arusi told al-Naba television station. "We have started looking for new markets in east Asia to offset the loss." He said he hoped export ports would start work soon but did not repeat comments from Wednesday that terminals might reopen on Tuesday. Arusi said the government was having trouble drafting a 2014 budget due to the drop in production from 1.4 million bpd in July to 250,000 bpd now. "We have a problem now. How are we supposed to prepare the budget?" he asked, adding that initial planning had assumed output of around 1.3 million bpd. He said only the El-Feel field, offshore operations and fields belonging to state-owned Sirte Oil Co in central Libya were still producing oil. Arusi said the abrupt halt in production had also damaged pipelines and other oil facilities, while some oil staff were in bad shape psychologically due to the strikes. "We are talking here about many cases, not just one" he said. OUTAGES He said the electricity supply would improve within hours after members of the Amazigh, or Berber, minority had ended a blockade of a gas pipeline feeding a power plant in western Libya which they had staged to demand more political rights. However, outages again hit central parts of the capital Tripoli on Saturday. Zeidan has failed to end strikes disrupting oil and gas supplies which started in earnest in the summer. One difficulty is that protesters are not a unified group, but range from a regional autonomy movement in the east, civil servants seeking pay, and minorities like the Berbers who want their language recognised. Those demands are hard to meet for a prime minister weakened by political infighting. Western powers worry the North African country will slide into instability with militias calling the shots in the streets while the government struggles to keep the budget running to pay civil servants and ease social tensions. ($1 = 1.2342 Libyan dinars) (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Feras Bosalum; Editing by Alistair Lyon) Source:
  23. Greetings, Here is a Smile for your day: Reuters reports that China's state-owned Sinochem Corp plans to use Iraqi crude oil for 40 percent of the capacity of its new refinery, in what the article describes as "the latest example of Iraq beating Middle Eastern rivals in the competition for new markets in Asia". The deal wold replacing a preliminary agreement to use more expensive oil from Kuwait, and make Sinochem one of Baghdad's top oil buyers next year, when the company starts its first wholly-owned refinery. I keep reading in my Iraq Business Week points that shine on mid 2014 or before for long awaited moment for RV!!! Sincerely, BradyBear
  24. Greetings, I was reading my Iraqi news today and have good cause to feel the RV will be mid 2014 if not earlier: Thamir Ghadhban (pictured), chairman of the advisory commission to Iraq’s Council of Ministers, has said that he expects a robust return to growth next year as foreign companies push output from the southern oilfields to new records. Output is expected to rise by at least 500,000 barrels per day to an average of 3.5 million bpd, as the Majnoon, Garraf and Halfaya oilfields ramp up, and the Badra field comes on line. Production this year is likely to average more than 3 million bpd, slightly up on 2012, but by the end of the year rates are likely to reach a level of 3.5 million bpd, added the former oil minister. Have a Great Day, BradyBear
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