Iran, Iraq Sign MoU to Export Kirkuk Oil

Iraq’s Oil Ministry announced that Tehran and Baghdad have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to carry out studies on the construction of a pipeline to export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran.

In a statement, the Iraqi ministry said the agreement was signed during a recent ceremony in the Iraqi capital between Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and his counterpart Jabar al-Luaibi, Reuters reported.

The agreement also calls for a commission to resolve disputes about joint oilfields and the possible transportation of Iraqi crude to Iran’s Abadan refinery, it added.

The two sides have also agreed to cooperate on the policies of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Under the scenario, the Iraqi government would be shipping about 150,000 barrels per day of oil through Iran from fields in Kirkuk, the report added.

(Sources: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence; Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

Rosneft Starts Drilling at Block 12

Russia’s Rosneft group has started drilling its first exploration well at Block 12 in Iraq.

The Salman-1 well will be drilled to the measured depth of 4,245 m through Kurra Chine target horizon to be followed by further testing of five prospective targets. The Company plans to complete drilling in July 2017.

Company of Rosneft group acts as the operator of the exploration and development of Block 12. China-based company Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group (ZPEC) is the general drilling contractor .

Iraq has huge proved and undeveloped oil resources. Exploration in Iraq is an important step in implementing the Rosneft strategy to expand competences in the area of hydrocarbon exploration and production outside of Russia.

The prospective oil-bearing Block 12 is located in the Najaf and Muthanna provinces, approximately 80 km to the southwest of the city of Samawa and 130 km to the west of the city of Nasriya. The block is a part of the Western Desert, an unexplored region having the biggest oil potential in Iraq. It has an area of 7,680 sq km. Exploration works on Block 12 are considered “low risk” due to its prospects.

(Source: Rosneft)

GTH ordered to pay $60m to Atheer

Global Telecom Holding (GTH), an Egyptian joint stock company, today announces that, as previously disclosed, on 19 November 2012 Atheer Telecom Iraq Limited initiated English High Court proceedings against Orascom Telecom Iraq Ltd. (OTIL) and GTH in relation to a dispute arising from 2007 sale of Iraqna, OTIL’s Iraqi mobile subsidiary, to Atheer.

Pursuant to the underlying share purchase agreement, Atheer was seeking declarations that OTIL and GTH are liable to indemnify it for certain tax liabilities. Atheer’s initial claim was for USD 280 million, but later reduced to USD 60 million.

On 17 February 2017, the Court found OTI and GTH liable to indemnify Atheer in the amount of USD 60 million. The precise terms of the order, costs and interest will be determined at a hearing on 1 March 2017.

GTH intends to seek leave to appeal the judgment, however, leave to appeal is discretionary and may not be granted.

(Source: GTH)

Counter-ISIS Strikes Continue in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Sunday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Coalition military forces conducted 16 strikes consisting of 29 engagements against ISIS targets in Syria:

  • Near Bab, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Shadaddi, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions and a vehicle.
  • Near Raqqa, eight strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and destroyed two ISIS headquarters, a vehicle, a command and control node, a vehicle bomb, a vehicle bomb facility, an artillery system, and a tunnel.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed seven oil wellheads.
  • Near Palmyra, a strike destroyed an anti-air artillery system.

Strikes in Iraq

Coalition military forces conducted 13 strikes consisting of 63 engagements in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

  • Near Haditha, a strike destroyed five connexes.
  • Near Huwayjah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.
  • Near Mosul, six strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and two ISIS staging areas; damaged 15 supply routes; suppressed nine mortar teams and an artillery team; and destroyed five mortar systems, four vehicles, three supply caches, three artillery systems, two command and control nodes, an ISIS headquarters, a bomb-making facility, a heavy machine gun, a logistics node and a fighting position.
  • Near Rawah, two strikes destroyed two vehicle bomb facilities and an ISIS-held building.
  • Near Taji, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Tal Afar, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building and an excavator.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIS to use.

Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIS terrorist group and the threat it poses to Iraq, Syria, the region and the wider international community. The destruction of targets in Syria and Iraq further limits ISIS’ ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Mattis Praises Resilient Iraqi Army during Baghdad Visit

In his first trip to Baghdad as defense secretary, Jim Mattis today praised the Iraqi army for its resilience and noted the forces are now focused on liberating west Mosul.

The Iraqi army has the full support of the more than 60 members in the coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Mattis told reporters in the Iraqi capital.

“There will be more fights ahead. We’ll stick together,” the retired Marine Corps general said. “As we look at the future, we’re going to continue to stand by the Iraqi army and the Iraqi people who are fighting this enemy.”

He commended the accomplishments of the Iraqi army, saying the force has taken casualties, but has reconstituted itself both with equipment and personnel. After a months-long battle, east Mosul was cleared of ISIS. Now, the coalition-backed Iraqi forces have set their sights on freeing western Mosul.

Mattis Assessing

The secretary, during a stop Sunday in Abu Dhabi, told reporters the Iraq visit would allow him to “get current on the situation there,” including on the political situation and the situation with ISIS.

“The only way you can do that is by talking to the people responsible over there on the ground,” he said.

In Baghdad, Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters the Iraqi government realizes the fight is “very complex.”

He said he believes the Iraqis will continue to need the assistance of the coalition even after the liberation of Mosul.

Townsend praised the Iraqi army as well, saying it has made a “remarkable turnaround” in two years.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

NIC Chairman meets Italian Deputy Minister

By John Lee.

National Investment Commission (NIC) Chairman Dr. Sami Al-Araji and Iraqi Permanent Representative in the UN, Ambassador Muhammad Ali Al- Hakeem, met recently with the Italian Deputy foreign Minister, Mr. Vincenzo Amendola, at the Italian Representation Headquarter in the UN. During the meeting the two sides discussed bilateral relations and the Italian efforts in Iraq.

NIC Chairman stated that Iraq had put Italy within the prioritized list of countries that will participate in the 2018-2023 plan of reforming economy and reinforcing the private sector role, in light of the historical relations between Iraq and Italy.

The two sides also discussed some of the issues of mutual interest in the Security Council when Mr. Al- Hakeem expressed the delight in witnessing such a friendly country like Italy as a member in the Security Council.

Ambassador Al Hakeem also showed the gratitude of Iraq for Italy efforts especially in the UNAMI meeting and the support submitted as well as the efforts of maintaining the dam of Mosul and its big participation in protecting and repairing the Iraqi archeological pieces.

Mr. Vincenzo Amendola in his turn assured Italy’s firm obligation support towards Iraq in its war against terrorism, adding that Italy is concerned about the efforts of repairing the archeological pieces because they look at it from a civilization and cultural corner within the Mediterranean area.

In respect of the economic reform plan referred to by the Iraqi side, Mr. Amendola said that they will be willing to urge the Italian companies to participate if they find the plan feasible after treating the topic of the Iraqi Budget price calculation.

(Source: NIC)

RAYREN98 TIDBIT, 21 FEB

RayRen98 
 Up to 45 banks now (handling the dinar).    Banks are openly accepting the Iraqi Dinar.  As far as I’m concerned that makes it International.  Even if not International, all we want is for banks over here to accept it.  Other currencies started fluctuating this last week and we put that out there.  I knew from past experience these are short windows. We are looking good, and feeling

The price of the Iraqi dinar against the Arab and international currencies on February 20, 2017

The price of the Iraqi dinar against the Arab and international currencies on February 20, 201720-02-2017 01:17 PMEast News -U.S. dollarUS $ 1 = 1,179.3400 Iraqi dinars1 Iraqi dinars = US $ 0.0008 euro1 euro = Iraqi dinars 1,251.8204IQD 1 = 0.0008 eurosSterling pound£ 1 = 1,464.4729 Iraqi dinarsIQD 1 = 0.0007 poundsCanadian Dollar1 CAD = 901.0161 dinarsIQD 1 = 0.0011 Canadian dollarsAustralian

Intel Situation Report: “Golden” – Intel SITREP – 20:00 EST – Monday – February 20, 2017, 21 FEB

Intel Situation Report: “Golden” – Intel SITREP – 20:00 EST – Monday – February 20, 20171. This is a transition of power from west to east. Western civilization has very little gold in relationship to the Eastern world. As Eastern gold owners are making not only new financial rules via their enormous gold leverage, but creating an entirely new, moral and expansive reality right before our very